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European Taxes

An outline of the Tax Situation in Europe
as applicable to musicians.

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Many countries have instituted punitive - and as regards the EU, illegal - taxes targeted at foreign musicians. These taxes usually don't apply to DJs who suckle at the teat of the Musical Welfare State and whose main social function seems to be to keep thuggish children distracted with aural trinkets. As well there are various forms required by states to avoid the withholding of legitimate taxes, including social security. The following information is subject to change at any time and is not meant to be comprehensive. It only references information relevant to Pere Ubu.

If you have current information, tips or anything useful to add to this page please email them.

FORMS PROVIDED BY US GOVT.
FORM 6166 - Supplied by U.S. Residency Certification Unit - DP N322, PO Box 16347, Philadelphia PA 19114-0447; tel: 215-516-2000; fax: 215-516-1035 or 215-516-2485. The form provides relief from double taxation. It states simply, "I certify, to the best of our knowledge, the above-named taxpayer is a resident of the United States of America for purposes of U.S. taxation." These forms are specific to the taxpayer and provide personal information.

FORM TAJA1 (S5GA1) - AKA the "Baltimore Form" (nicknamed thus because the office is in Baltimore). Supplied by Office of International Programs, PO Box 17741, Baltimore MD 21235-7741; tel: 410-597-4301, fax: 410-966-1861 (only for requesting certificates of coverage). Forms are country-specific. Country-specific forms have individual names, such as "USA/IT 4" (the one for Italy, for example). The form, a Certificate of Coverage, serves as proof of exemption from social security taxes for employed and self-employed U.S. citizens who will be working in the specific country for less than 60 days. These forms are generic - the name and personal information lines are left blank. There seems to be a facility to request certificates online.

NB. The regulations seem to change often. Promoters are sometimes confused as to which form is actually needed - the 6166 or the Baltimore. The best policy is to ask the promoter to send a copy of the form they are requesting.

FORMS PROVIDED BY UK GOVT.
FORM E-101 - Supplied by HM Revenue & Customs, Centre for Non-Residents, tel: 0845-915-4811. The form provides exemption from paying insurance contributions in other EU states. Apply for an E-101 using Form CA8451 for bands and performers who must be paying Class 2 contributions to qualify. The forms are free and are venue specific.

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Requirements From Specific States

AUSTRIA
As of 9/7/11.
UK RESIDENTS: Unknown.
US CITIZENS: Unknown.
Social Security Coverage: A certificate of coverage for US Citizens can be applied for using the Performer Certificate Request Form. Not always required. Check with promoter.
Artist Tax: If applicable, Artist can confirm with the signing of the contract, and a statement to the regional tax office in Austria, that the concert fee will be distributed so that each individual receives a share of not more than 1000 euros, and that the individual's total earnings in Austria for the year does not exceed 2000 euros. The fee can then be paid without deducting taxes. Copies of passports and residence information must be provided. If these documents are not submitted, a 20% income tax (tax rate subject to change) must be withheld from the fee, including all compensation for expenses and payment in kind.
Withholding Tax: If necessary (check with promoter), to avoid a withholding tax Americans may need to present a statement declaring that the individual is a permanent resident and citizen of the USA. The statement must provide residence information, passport number, social security number, and IRS office of filing. The statement must also assert that during the tax year the individual will not stay in Austria more than 183 days and will not earn more than $20,000.


BELGIUM
As of 8/1/11.
UK RESIDENTS: Photocopy of passport and a list of names, addresses, etc.
US CITIZENS: Photocopy of passport and a list of names, addresses, etc.
Social Security Coverage: A certificate of coverage for US Citizens can be applied for using the Performer Certificate Request Form. Doesn't seem to be required for touring bands. Check with promoter.
Artist Tax. US Resident musicians can sign a Declaration supplied by the Ministry of Finance that avoids double taxation withholding. The artist declares that in a specific tax year that the artist, or band, will earn less than $20,000 in Belgium. Advice from a Belgian agent: "With bigger fees or when it's likely that musicians exceed the dollar limit I would recommend to deduct it right away but since it's not so easy/fast to get paid taxes back later on, it's best to decide the handling show by show." UK resident musicians are subject to withholding.


DENMARK
As of 5/21/7.
UK RESIDENTS: No form required.
US CITIZENS: No form required.
No Artist Tax - a civilized country.


CZECH REPUBLIC
As of 8/1/11.
UK RESIDENTS: Unknown.
US CITIZENS: Unknown.
Social Security Coverage: A certificate of coverage for US Citizens can be applied for using the Performer Certificate Request Form. Check with promoter.


FINLAND
As of 8/1/11.
UK RESIDENTS: Unknown.
US RESIDENTS: A TAJA1 certificate of social security coverage is required. It can be applied for using the Performer Certificate Request Form. Check with promoter.


FRANCE
As of 3/21/12.
UK RESIDENTS: An E-101 form required (in theory).
US RESIDENTS: A TAJA1 certificate of social security coverage is required (in theory) for US Citizens. It can be applied for using the Performer Certificate Request Form. Check with promoter.
Health Coverage: Employees or Self-employed must have Health Insurance coverage. This can be private or employee sponsored. We have never encountered this issue. It may be that it is one of those laws the French have on the books that nobody pays any attention to; that it exists to prevent exploitation of their healthcare system by foreigners and only comes into play when relevant. Check with promoter.
NB. The Centre Pompidou in Paris seems to use a different and possibly unique set of forms, maybe because it is semi-governmental.


GERMANY
As of 8/1/11.
UK RESIDENTS: No form required.
US CITIZENS: No form required.
FOREIGNER TAX: Levied on bands (and only bands, not djs). The amount of tax depends on the number of foreign musicians on stage.
Here is an outline of the situation, courtesy of Konzertagentur Berthold Seliger:

German Artist Tax consists of two things: Foreigner Tax and Solidarity Tax.

Graduated Tax Levels
Bands pay a smaller portion of foreigner taxes, if any, if they receive small fees. The rule goes like this:
  • Fees between 0 and EUR 250 are tax free.
  • Fees between EUR 250 and EUR 500 are taxed at 10% plus solidarity tax, i.e. total of 10.55%.
  • Fees between EUR 500 and EUR 1.000 are taxed at 15% plus solidarity tax, i.e. total of 15.83%.
  • Fees over EUR 1.000 are taxed at 20% plus solidarity tax, i.e. total of 21.10%.
This rule applies PER SHOW and PER PERSON, as long as each band member confirms by signature that he/she receives an equal portion of the fee.

However, German tax authorities charge foreigner taxes on hotels as well as on catering and further costs, and they charge a VAT amount of 19% on all this before the total per person is counted.

For example: A five piece band receives EUR 1.000 fee, i.e. EUR 200 per person. Now, we have to add hotel costs (if they are not in a nightliner coach...), let's say EUR 50. Then we have to add catering costs, let's say EUR 30.- It's 280 already. Then we'll have to count 19% on this, makes it a total of 333.20, so the amount will be taxed with 10.55%.

US Taxpayers
US taxpayers, who can provide a Form 6166 for the tax year, may apply for a refund of withholding tax at the end of the year, if they have earned less than US$ 20.000 in Germany in the current tax year. This rule applies PER PERSON, and it has to include the whole income. NB. Only the person who has signed that he/she has received amount X may apply for a refund of this amount. So if the taxes have been split in 5 portions per show, because of 5 band members, each band member has to apply himself/herself. There are forms for this application (German and English versions).

Expenses
If your real expenses are higher than 40% of German income, you may apply for lower taxes. But you have to send original receipts for all your expenses, and loads and loads of paperwork of course. This is more suitable for big bands travelling with big productions.


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GREECE
As of 8/1/11.
UK RESIDENTS: Unknown.
US CITIZENS: Unknown.
A certificate of coverage for US Citizens can be applied for using the Performer Certificate Request Form. Check with promoter.


IRELAND
As of 8/1/11.
UK RESIDENTS: Unknown.
US CITIZENS: Unknown.
A certificate of coverage for US Citizens can be applied for using the Performer Certificate Request Form. Check with promoter.


ITALY
As of 3/23/12.
UK RESIDENTS: Requires E-101, form CA8451.
US CITIZENS: A TAJA1 certificate of social security coverage is required. It can be applied for using the Performer Certificate Request Form.
Note the following: There are two kinds of taxes on artist fees: Social Security and Withholding.
Social Security tax can be avoided by submitting E-101 and/or TAJA1 (S5GA-1) forms. The originals must be submitted on the day of the show. Copies must be mailed or faxed two weeks before the show. If this ISN'T done then photocopies of passports must be submitted and the artist fee is subject to 33% withholding.
Withholding Tax is 30%. American citizens or companies may earn up to $20,000 per year tax free. Invoice(s) must be submitted either per person or per company. Tax can be minimized by submitting two invoices, one for production costs and one for artist fee. The maximum allowable split is 70/30 production costs/artist fee when the artist is paying all production costs, and 60/40 when the promoter is. The production invoice must include all costings which can include bus hire, flight contributions, crew, per diems, backline hire, days off, agency percentage, management percentage, hotels and other costs attributable to touring.
NB. Each American band member is allowed $20,000 a year tax free.


NETHERLANDS
As of 8/1/11.
UK RESIDENTS: Photocopy of passport and a list of names, addresses, etc.
US CITIZENS: Photocopy of passport and a list of names, addresses, etc.
Artists Tax: Holland used to have an Artists Tax which required submitting expenses and production costs in order to mitigate liability. Recently they simplified and liberalized the laws after they discovered it cost more to collect the tax than the tax generated. The Dutch, though they must shoulder the blame for initiating this cycle of violence, at least, and at last, came to their senses. Very pragmatic. Very Dutch. They re-enter the ever-dwindling camp of Civilized Nations.


PORTUGAL: WARNING! Portugal is a Podunk Nation - avoid.
As of 9/21/9.
OUR EXPERIENCE: No matter what you do and no matter what they tell you, you WILL NOT get a refund. Here is the letter of rejection from the promoter 20 months later. Note, we did EVERYTHING required. Portugal now must be moved into the List Of Uncivilized Podunk Nations.
To avoid double taxation, XXXXX usually:
a) hires artists through artistic agents, who have an independent management from the artist himself;
b) uses its pre-written contract that guarantees the wanted application of the Convention to Avoid Double Taxation;
c) pays artistic fees and booking fees to the same entity, and this being the artistic agent;
d) only makes payments when all the paperwork is completed, as to have the possibility of correcting it when needed (thus ensuring no double taxation).

DOUBLE TAXATION: Advice from a Portuguese promoter: Portugal implements international double taxation conventions in a form that could, in some respects, be described as erratic and certainly unusual when compared to other nations. The prevailing guidance from legal and financial colleagues is that, provided the contracted party is a bona fide agent for the services of the artist, it is permissible to exploit a clause in Portuguese legislation to avoid deducting tax at source. (For the avoidance of any doubt, such a loophole definitely does not exist when the contracted party is the artist him/herself, nor another individual, nor when it is another organisation such as a band.) This application or interpretation of the Portuguese rules works for agents in most territories in which agents are commonly based, including the most part of the European Union countries, and the only extra paperwork required is for the agent to complete and return to the promoter is a 'CRF' (also known more formally as a 'Modelo 12-RFI') form which proves to the promoter and the Portuguese authorities that the agency concerned pays its taxes in its country. It is also important that the invoice for the fee payment comes from the agent, not the artist (irrespective of whether all or part of any payment was actually made to the artist or some other party, rather than the agent's client account). The CRF must be filled out in triplicate and be stamped by the agent's tax authority.
UK RESIDENTS: Send the form to your local tax office. Processing time 4-6 weeks.
NB. - The CRF Form has not been used successfully by anyone we know. Be aware as well that the withholding is 20% to a band and whatever the contract says be prepared to not avoid withholding at the highest rate. It is screwed up. Best just to assume it's lost money. The more official the organization paying you the less likely it is to avoid.



SERBIA
As of 5/21/7.
UK RESIDENTS: E101s for UK tax-payers not applicable - not part of EU and no tax treaty to apply.


SPAIN
As of 8/1/11.
US RESIDENTS: Form 6166 Required.


SWEDEN
As of 5/21/7.
UK RESIDENTS: E-101 not required.
US CITIZENS: Requires "Baltimore" Form. A certificate of coverage for US Citizens can be applied for using the Performer Certificate Request Form.
15% Artists Tax - Americans are allowed to earn up to 6000 SKR a year before they are taxed but it is levied on UK residents irregardless.

SWITZERLAND
As of 5/21/7.
UK RESIDENTS: No form required.
US CITIZENS: No form required.
No Artist Tax.

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