Filing your Tax Return for Actors – 21/12/2020

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Actors working in the Entertainment Industry comes with a highly unique set of circumstances, whether that is having more than one source of income, working inconsistent and unsociable hours or being unsure of what can and cannot be claimed for tax purposes.

If you are just starting out your acting career or returning after a break, you need to register as self-employed with HMRC so you can file your Self-Assessment Tax Return.

When living in the UK, it is a requirement to report your income on a UK Tax Return, which includes:

  • Employed Work
  • Self-Employed Income
  • Partnership Income
  • Investment Income
  • Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
  • Property Income
  • Foreign Income
  • Pension Income

While the Entertainment Industry is certainly a difficult and confusing one to master, there is no denying the lucky position that actors find themselves in with regards to the expenses you are able to claim. All expenses must be reasonable and “wholly and exclusively” for the purposes of your business:

  • Advertising
  • Brochures
  • Throat spray and lozenges
  • Agents commission
  • Auditions
  • Competition entry fees
  • Stage appearance
  • Dry cleaning of professional dress wear
  • Photographs
  • (Hire of) Dress wear
  • Tapes/DVDs
  • Blank tapes/CDs/DVDs
  • Internet connection
  • Television
  • Mobile
  • Travel
  • Others

If the tax on your self-employed income is greater than £1,000, HMRC will ask you to make payments on account for the next tax year – these are each 50% of the tax due for the year before.



The Entertainment Sector can be a confusing area of work – especially if it is your full-time career. Knowing how to take control of your time and money while still adhering to HMRC rules can be a tedious task.

Our Director Andrea L Richards has written an E-Book on the most common mistakes made by Entertainers and expert advice on how to avoid and overcome them. 

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