Our qualified accountants many years experience in submitting accounts for Lighting Engineers to HMRC, whether you are working for a theatre or TV company, are on tour with an orchestra or a rock band or working part time our accountancy services ensure you pay the right levels of tax.
The first important question – are you employed or self- employed? If you don’t work for an organisation e.g. a TV or theatre company or under contract to a band you are likely to be self -employed.
Our tax experts will determine if your income from self employment should be referred to as trading income. We manage your account so that you will pay any tax due twice a year through the Self Assessment system.
Your dedicated accountant will help you if you are working on multiple contracts in the UK and abroad. Our experts will assist you with both optimising your tax so you only pay what is due and are fully compliant with the law. Nobody wants an HMRC investigation but with the complexity of UK tax law it is very easy to get yourself in to trouble and we aim to give our clients piece of mind.
‘Keith at Axia has been looking after both my self-assessment and company accounts for a number of years now. He is always professional, approachable, reliable and a pleasure to work with’
Ali Pike – Alikat Illumination Ltd – Lighting Engineer
Working as a Lighting Engineer your income can come from a variety of sources e.g. one-off events to long term contracts – all must be accounted for.
HMRC must ensure people are correctly classified as being employed or self-employed. The exact rules to determine the position are defined by HMRC and our tax expert will assist you in correctly registering.
In exceptional circumstances, some lighting engineers may qualify for what is termed Reserved Trading Income Status (previously known as Reserved Schedule D Status). They will continue to be taxed on income as if they were self-employed so long as tax liabilities are properly discharged and there is no break in their employment.
What expenses can a Lighting Engineer claim?
Expenses are defined as being necessary for the operation of your business. We have provided a list of typical tax deductions available for lighting engineers:
- Marketing costs – Promoting yourself to bands and theatres.
- Website costs – Hosting and maintaining a website to promote your capabilities.
- Travel expenses – Train tickets, petrol costs.
- Accommodation – Hotels for overnight concerts or events.
- Equipment – You may invest in your own lighting rig or specialised lighting equipment, this is likely to be capital expenditure
- Computing equipment – Laptops and specialised lighting control software
- Equipment Insurance – Protect your livelihood.
- Commissions – Fees paid to agents for gigs.
The United Kingdom has Double Taxation Agreements with many countries. It is your responsibility to minimise the tax paid in the other country and we can help you do this. If a tax can be avoided or reduced, and the taxpayer does not take action to organise this, HMRC can deny the relief and it is our job to ensure this doesn’t happen.
If a country is not covered by the Double Taxation Agreement we will advise you to ensure you are compliant and therefore don’t pay more than you need.
What are the top mistakes Lighting Engineers make on their tax returns?
A common error is to show income after deduction of agent’s commission and VAT. Gross income, before deductions, should always be shown, with a separate claim being made for the commission and VAT costs.
Recently a potential new problem cropped up, in the form of the new cash basis, described by HMRC as simplified expenses. Opting for this denies lighting engineers the ability to set losses off against other income, and limits certain claims to expenses. The earnings basis where income is declared as earned, rather than as received, and where expenses are declared as incurred allows more flexibility.
To find out more about how The Showbiz Accountant could help your business, call Keith Rennie (Managing Partner) in the UK on: 0203 972 0155.
To schedule a call or email a question please click here.