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Freelance entertainers to pay their NI dues differently

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has had it with freelance entertainers pulling their hair out when it comes to their National Insurance payments.

The taxman is taking pity on these poor blokes and birds with terrible maths by proposing to no longer consider them employees when it comes to their NI payments, which would no longer classify them as having to pay class one contributions any more. It’s a bit silly for a freelance entertainer to be considered an employee in the first place if you ask me, so I’m glad HMRC is finally doing away with the convoluted and overly-complex practice.

I’m not the only one who’s glad to hear of the change, of course. Besides the actors and musicians that currently suffer through the National Insurance process as it stands (well, those who actually know what they’re doing and don’t just farm out their finances to an accountant, that is), the Chartered Institute of Taxation has also come forward to pat the taxman on the back for making the right decision for once.

CIOT said that the current system is just too complex and confusing as it stands and that it absolutely needs to be changed to something more simple; like other freelancers, entertainers should be paying class two and class four contributions. Of course many entertainment unions – which are made up by entertainers that might not be the most mathematically inclined – are all panicking because their members are afraid things will be worse off for them under the new rules if they go into effect.

In order to protect the rights of their members to coast on the dole in between gigs, many unions would rather entertainers be classified as employees, at least partially, as it makes it easier to claim Jobseekers’ Allowance. Seems a bit of a bastard move from my point of view; if you’re getting involved in the entertainment industry, you know the risks and you should be prepared to do some terrible and demeaning job in between gigs in order to make ends meet, like working the takeaway counter or running for Parliament.

See? I can be entertaining, too. Maybe I should be paying class one contributions as well; unlike the rest of these wool-headed ‘entertainers’ out there I actually know how to do my own taxes, though!

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