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HMRC internal manual

VAT Taxable Person Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Particular trades: Off-air workers in the film, television and radio industries: Off-air grades accepted as self-employed in the film, video and television industry

The grades listed below are treated as self-employed, provided that all the conditions shown are fulfilled.

Assistants are not included in the job categories below.

Specific project normally means programme production over and above the company’s regular output. “Regular output” means programmes like Coronation Street and Eastenders which produce a weekly/daily output throughout the year. Essentially, individuals engaged for a specific project will have been recruited from outside the company’s staff and will be the type of person who moves from project to project throughout the ITV companies, BBC and the film industry. The term “specific project” does not include holiday relief, filling in for staff shortages and/or sickness and similar.

Staff who are engaged on a regular succession of contracts are not covered by this document. Such contracts are called roll-over contracts.

Freelance for HM Revenue & Customs purposes denotes an individual who moves from company to company. It is not synonymous with self-employment.

In certain circumstances the status of a worker may be influenced by the duration of an engagement. Workers in grades marked with an asterisk* in the following list can usually be regarded as self-employed provided that they are engaged:-

  • for a one-off production such as a feature film or a single drama or documentary
  • for less than 9 months on a series or a specific strand of a programme

Workers in grades not marked with an asterisk may be regarded as self-employed regardless of the length of the engagement, provided that they fulfil the necessary criteria.

### Job ### Proviso
   
Advance Rigger where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
*Animal handler  
*Animation director  
*Animation production co-ordinator  
Animator where the work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager and the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
*Animatronic model designer  
Archive researcher where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
*Art director  
Assistant art director where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Assistant costume designer where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager or the contract requires substantial provision of materials
*Associate producer except where engaged primarily for general research
*Auditioner  
Background artist where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Camera operator where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
*Casting director  
*Chaperone  
*Choreographer  
Composer  
Construction manager where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Continuity where script breakdown is an integral part of the contract
Contributor where payment is made on a per contribution basis
*Co-producer  
Costume designer; costume supervisor where the work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager or the contract requires substantial provision of materials
*Cricket scorer  
Digital Set Designer where the work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
*Director  
*Director of photography  
Dressmaker where the work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Driver where the contract requires the driver to provide their own vehicle
*Editor  
*Executive producer  
*Fight arranger  
*Film stylist  
*First assistant director  
Foley artist where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Gaffer where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Graphic artist where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Graphic designer where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Grip (including Key Grip) where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Hairdresser where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment (including wigs) by the hairdresser, or 50% or more of the work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
*Head of Art Department  
Head of Department rigger where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Language assessor where used on an occasional basis to check style and delivery of foreign language broadcasts
Lettering artist where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Lettering designer where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Lighting cameraperson; Lighting director where responsible for designing lighting or photography
*Line producer  
Location manager  
Make-up artist where the contract requires provision of a standard make-up kit by the artist, or 50% or more is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
*Matron  
Model camera person where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Model designer where providing own facilities and equipment/materials
Model maker where providing own facilities and equipment/materials
*Modeller  
Musical arranger; Musical copyist where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
*Musical associate  
*Musical director  
*Musical score reader  
*Nurse  
*Photographic stylist  
*Post-production supervisor  
*Producer  
Production accountant where the contract requires provision of relevant facilities by the worker
Production assistant where script breakdown is an integral part of the contract
*Production buyer  
*Production designer  
*Production manager  
*Production supervisor  
Property master; Property hand where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment (including props)
Provider of occasional information (including Legmen) Embraces tip-offs, racing tips, news, sports news and similar information
*Publicist  
Scenic artist/Scenic designer where 50% or more of work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Script reader where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Script supervisor where script breakdown is an integral part of the contract
*Scriptwriter excluding reporting scripts
*Sculptor  
*Senior floor manager  
*Senior special effects technician  
Set decorator; Set dresser where the contract requires set design to be performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Sound maintenance engineer where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Sound mixer; sound recordist where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Special effects supervisor where the contract requires provision of necessary equipment
Special effects wireperson where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Specialised researcher where the worker has either an existing profession outside of the Film Industry (for example Academic, Legal Adviser, Doctor) or specialist knowledge of the programme content to be researched and the worker is engaged for a specific project and is not a regular contributor
*Sport statistician  
Stage manager where the contract requires provision of equipment (including props)
Stills photographer where the contract requires provision of all cameras
Storyboard artist where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Storywriter excluding news reporting
Stylist film or photographic styling
Transcript typist where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Translator where work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Transport manager where providing own vehicles
*Tutor  
Unit manager where the contract requires provision of facilities by the worker
Video technician where the contract requires substantial provision of equipment
Wardrobe (includes wardrobe supervisor and stylist) where the work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager, or the contract requires substantial provision of materials
*Warm up  
Wigmaker where the work is performed on premises other than those provided by the engager
Wireperson where the contract requires provision of necessary equipment by the worker
*Writer