Freelancers to benefit from new self-employment guidelines

06 Jan 2020

Bectu has welcomed new guidelines from the HMRC on the tax treatment of film and TV freelancers that will include new categories of workers who will usually be deemed self-employed.

The publication of new Film and TV guidance notes, just before Christmas, comes after four years of dialogue with industry stakeholders, including the Bectu Sector of Prospect.

Bectu’s research and freelance officer Tony Lennon said:

“With other industry figures we have lobbied HMRC to extend the list of grades that would normally be treated as self-employed, and a number of them have now been added to the Appendix 1 list.

“Many grades have conditions attached to their classification as self-employed, and the new conditions generally – though not always – reflect current practice in the industry. The extension of the list is an important step forward, for which Bectu has been lobbying very strongly. We are glad that HMRC has listened, and hope this will simplify the working life of many of our freelance members.”

Lennon was keen to stress that the changes relate to determination of employment status for tax purposes in the sector, and are not connected to other tax changes around IR35 next April.

He added: “It is likely, though, that many industry engagers will be using the new Appendix 1 to make decisions about tax for members working through personal service companies, as well as those directly engaged as self-employed sole traders.

“HMRC has also indicated that more discussion is expected on the Appendix 1 list, and there could be further helpful changes in the New Year. Bectu will continue to be deeply involved in talks on this matter.”

HMRC said the changes have been made “to reflect modern roles and practices”, and replace previous paper guidance from 20 December 2019.

Further HMRC documentation:

HMRC Employment Status Manual, 4115 – particular occupations: entertainment industry: TV and radio workers: behind camera workers short term engagements.

HMRC Employment Status Manual, 4116 – particular occupations: entertainment industry: TV and radio workers: behind camera workers short term engagements.

HMRC Employment Status Manual, 4117 – particular occupations: entertainment industry: TV and radio workers: behind camera workers definition of terms used in Appendix 1.

HMRC Employment Status Manual, 4118 – particular occupations:entertainment industry – TV and radio workers – behind the camera workers roles normally treated as self-employed, Appendix 1.

Useful Bectu resources