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(EU/UK) PAYE Scheme / Inland Revenue / Self-Employment as 1st Assistant Camera


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#1 Sam Bignell

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 07:20 PM

Hello Everyone!

I feel like I'm in the wrong thread but thought I'd give it ago.

The following post is in no way exciting btw but I am in need of help!

 

So I finished a job recently as a 1st Assistant Camera and was introduced (Vaguely) to Inland Revenue and the PAYE scheme and how as an Assistant Camera on a Multi-Day production (7 Day Rule) I should be paid on the PAYE Scheme (EU/UK)

 

Meaning from my understanding as a Assistant Camera 1st or 2nd I'm not classified as a HOD (Head Of Department) because I'm of an "Assistant" role I.E not the big boys like the DOP, Key Grip, Camera OP etc I'm therefore not classified as a Self-Employed person or crew so I have to be paid normally under the PAYE Scheme (Pay as you earn) so my TAX/NI will be deducted for me like a normal job as an employee at Tescos for example.

 

So I had a bit of a fright that even though we had a deal for X amount of money per day there is some risk that a big sum could have been cut for National Insurance and Tax.

Now although this wasn't the case this time because I was classified on my invoice as a "Camerapersons" with Substantial provision of materials/equipment that I also provided to some level to do my job (Not basic tools for the trade) this makes me fall under a HOD so I am a Self-employed person responsible for doing my own TAX/NI.. how I like it.

 

 

So with all that said there is still lots of uncertainty, I have in trying to understand it better and to avoid having this bite me in the butt in the future.

So if anyone knows what I'm talking about at all! and if any of what I've said so far is correct here are be questions!

 

Questions

I'm self-employed as a camera assistant legally from my understanding I fall into the correct category from the "am I self-employed" gov.uk test and therefore I don't want to be paid under PAYE from production. I really wanna be paid in full and be responsible for my own TAX/NI. So to be paid as a self-employed Assistant Camera can I

  1. Be under the camerapersons grade legally

  2. Get an LP10 letter (Lorimer Letter) to classify me as a Self-Employed Person

  3. Be a limited company

  4. From you're experience as Producers, Assistant Cameras how do you do this? Or do just work under PAYE and forget about it?

 

Any help would be great!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much

-Samuel

 


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 07:55 PM

I know of people who have done the Lorimer letter and had it accepted, and also some who were refused. It was less of an issue when I was an AC, but the way I did it was to have my accountant classify me as Schedule D self employed Cameraman. Once you have that schedule D number, you should be golden.

 

*disclaimer* It has been many years since I was an AC, things may have changed.


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#3 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 08:13 PM

Sorry also way back fro me too.. and I was an AC when the revenue went after the TV /film industry in the 80,s and made AC,s be PAYE.. the then way around it was you had to supply gear to be seen as not PAYE employee .. so we all bought tripod heads/legs or Mattbox,s or filter kits..  maybe that still applies 

 

The only goods thing was it also forced a lot of AC,s.. me included.. to hurry up and move up a being camera persons.. 


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#4 Mark Dunn

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 05:52 AM

I'm not in the industry but I have always been self-employed, so maybe this will help a bit.
You need to register as self-employed and pay NI as such. Self-employment is a matter of fact, not forms. You know from the test that if you work on different productions throughout the year, even for weeks at a time, provide at least some of your own kit and risk your own money, you're self-employed. The problem is convincing some of the outfits you work for to accept that status, because they don't want to run the risk of penalties if they don't deduct PAYE when they should. So they tend to want to treat you as an employee.
Of course it's perfectly possible to be both. You may have to accept that some companies will want to deal with you under PAYE, while others do not. Your overall tax liability may not be all that different. If you find it's affecting your turnover you may have to adjust your day rate accordingly.
Incidentally as you know from the test, being paid by the day is one of the indicators of self-employment. So look the part- send out your invoices on a proper letterhead, and look and behave like the small business you are.
I don't think there's much advantage in a one-man-band being a limited company.

Edited by Mark Dunn, 23 November 2017 - 05:55 AM.

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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 07:38 AM

I don't think there's much advantage in a one-man-band being a limited company.

 

 

When working for organisations like the BBC it can be an advantage being a limited company, in that you can charge your freelance rate, rather than their casual worker rate. I know staff members who retire early do this before going in as freelancers, although these tend to camera operators, camerapersons etc, rather than camera assistants    


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#6 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 09:05 AM

Your best bet is actually forking out a bit of cash and speaking to an accountant who is a  specialist in TV /film.. ask any of the sound recordists .. they will know one for sure.. or even know all the details..:)


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#7 Sam Bignell

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 04:34 PM

Thanks so very much for the responses! Definitely happy that I'm on the right tracks.

 

 

I know of people who have done the Lorimer letter and had it accepted, and also some who were refused. It was less of an issue when I was an AC, but the way I did it was to have my accountant classify me as Schedule D self employed Cameraman. Once you have that schedule D number, you should be golden.

 

*disclaimer* It has been many years since I was an AC, things may have changed.

I believe schedule D has been replaced with the UTR number but the UTR number doesn't quite cut it.

Thanks, Stuart!

 

 

Sorry also way back fro me too.. and I was an AC when the revenue went after the TV /film industry in the 80,s and made AC,s be PAYE.. the then way around it was you had to supply gear to be seen as not PAYE employee .. so we all bought tripod heads/legs or Mattbox,s or filter kits..  maybe that still applies 

 

The only goods thing was it also forced a lot of AC,s.. me included.. to hurry up and move up a being camera persons.. 

Supplying gear seems a good way around things and is something I'm doing often. I don't think my monitors and focus units is enough (have to read up on it) but I often supply more than the usual camera kit.

 

 

 

I'm not in the industry but I have always been self-employed, so maybe this will help a bit.
You need to register as self-employed and pay NI as such. Self-employment is a matter of fact, not forms. You know from the test that if you work on different productions throughout the year, even for weeks at a time, provide at least some of your own kit and risk your own money, you're self-employed. The problem is convincing some of the outfits you work for to accept that status, because they don't want to run the risk of penalties if they don't deduct PAYE when they should. So they tend to want to treat you as an employee.
Of course it's perfectly possible to be both. You may have to accept that some companies will want to deal with you under PAYE, while others do not. Your overall tax liability may not be all that different. If you find it's affecting your turnover you may have to adjust your day rate accordingly.
Incidentally as you know from the test, being paid by the day is one of the indicators of self-employment. So look the part- send out your invoices on a proper letterhead, and look and behave like the small business you are.
I don't think there's much advantage in a one-man-band being a limited company.

 

Thanks for all this!!!

 

 

Your best bet is actually forking out a bit of cash and speaking to an accountant who is a  specialist in TV /film.. ask any of the sound recordists .. they will know one for sure.. or even know all the details.. :)

Seems like a good option!!

 

Thanks Everyone!


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#8 Chris Steel

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:29 PM

I have a letter of Authority from HMRC film and TV devision (Current schedule D for the industry) - Provided you can show you've worked on several different productions over the last year they will likely authorise you.

 

I got mine at the beginning of this year and I've been on a few PAYE jobs where I was payed as a freelancer no problem.

 

It's probably the easiest option overall, if they accept you.


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Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

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