COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Special Income Tax Measures for Freelance Artists

Figures for 2011 (in %)

For more information see the individual country profiles:

Chapter 5.1.5 "Tax laws"  

Note:

Income averaging means that "income generated from works created/performed over a longer period of time can be spread over a certain number of years for income tax purposes".

Country

Special allowances

Income averaging

Remarks

Indep. creators

Performing artists

Indep. creators

Performing artists

Austria

+*

--

Over 3 years

Over 3 years

*Exemption of awards/ scholarships and of work carried out in other countries.

Azerbaijan

--

--

--

--

No special exemptions or measures for artists.

Belgium

*

*

--

--

*No special measures for artists, except partial or full exemption of public awards and subsidies and advantageous tax regime for income from royalties

Bulgaria

40%*

40 %*

Over 1 - 4 years**

--

*Deduction of 40% on income resulting from works of art.
**For income resulting from their works of art.

Canada

--*

--

--

--

*No special rates or measures on the national level, only exemptions for a share of copyright-derived income for artists in Quebec (provincial tax).

Croatia

+*

+*

--

--

*25% of authors' fees are not taxed, and another 40% are recognised as business expenses.

Denmark

Tax reduction*

No special taxation agreement

Max 10 years

No special taxation agreement

*Figures for 2006 show a max transfer of 539.000 DKK to later taxation years.

Estonia

+*

--

Several years**

--

*New legislation 2005.
**On income relating to the works created.

Finland

-*

-

Over 2 or more years**

Over 2 or more years

**Concerns a separate larger income reception, contains prerequisite clauses concerning the amount and its share of total annual income

France

10 and 20%

10% or diverse rates

Over 3 years*

Over 3 years*

*Option can be withdrawn.

Georgia

--

--

--

--

No special exemptions or measures for artists.

Germany

30%*

Special rates**

Several years***

Several years***

*Flat rate for independent artists.
**Freelances with short contracts;
***For previous + following years, in which the work is carried out.

Greece

+*

 

+*

Over 1 year + 3 more years**

--

*Exemption of public and other recognised grants, scholarships, awards.
**For visual artists only.

Hungary

+*

+*

--

--

*Option for simplified tax rules.

Ireland

Total tax exemption*

-

Total tax exemption*

-

*Exemption only for creative artists (not performing artists) on income from work recognised for its artistic or cultural value.

Italy

25%*

--

--

--

*Reduction of taxable income from intellectual property rights + deduction of some professional expenses.

Latvia

15-40%*

--

--

--

*Depends on the type of profession.

Lithuania

--

--

--

--

No exemptions.

Luxembourg

25%

25 %

Over 4 years*

Over 4 years*

*Reduced tax on "revenues extra-ordinaires" + exemption of awards.

FYR of Macedonia

Tax reduction*

30%

-

-

* The rates vary depending on type of activity and range between 25% to 60%; for example, sculptures 60%; painting 50%; classical music, ballet, theatre and film performances 30%; for pop and folk music 25%, etc.

Malta

+*

---

--

--

*Relative allowance for materials and supplies.

Moldova

--

--

--

--

No special exemptions or measures for artists.

Monaco

--

--

--

--

No special exemptions or measures for artists.

Netherlands

--

--

Over 3 years*

Over 3 years*

*1989.

Norway

--

--

Over 3 years*

--

*For visual artists only.

Poland

50%*

50%*

--

--

*Exemption for income from all works of creation subjected to copyright and related rights.

Portugal

50%*

50%*

--

--

*On income from intellectual property rights.

Russia

20-40%*

20-30%*

--

--

*Differs according to type of activity (e.g.40% for sculptors or 20% for both creation and performance of literary works).

San Marino

25%*

--

--

--

*Reduction of taxable income from intellectual property rights in case of occasional performances

Serbia

40%-60%*

40%-60%*

Maximum 5 years

Maximum 5 years

*60%: sculpture, tapestry, art ceramics, mosaic and stained glass;

50%: art photography, fresco painting and similar arts, clothes design and textile design; painting, graphic design, industrial design, visual communications, landscaping, restorations, translations; music performance, movie-making;

40%: programmes and performances of folk music, database production, media production and all other activities.

Slovakia

--*

--*

Max 3 years

Max 3 years

* Deduction of 40% (flat expenses) on income resulting from selling of intellectual property rights (incl. copyrights and rights related to copyright).

Slovenia

25%*

--

--

--

*For registered artists on income below 42.000 € (+ personal 15% allowance on income under 25.000 €).

Spain

+*

+*

+

+

*Certain allowances + tax exemption on "important literary prizes".

Sweden

--

--

+*

--

*System of "upphovsmannakonto".

Switzerland

--

--

--

--

No special exemptions or measures for artists (but 26 different tax regimes on the regional level!).

Ukraine

--*

--*

--

--

*Flat rate deduction established by each locality. General rate of 15% could apply (like all other entrepreneurs).

United Kingdom

+*

+*

2 years**

2 years**

*Exemption of Arts Council grants.
**Previous + following year (profits of one of the tax years must be less than 75% of those in the other year).

Sources:       Council of Europe/ERICarts Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 12th edition 2011, based on data provided in the country profiles (chapter 5) and on compilations of the ERICarts Institute for the study "The Status of Artists in Europe", European Parliament. Additional information was found in the report by the European Arts and Entertainment Alliance (EAEA)"Study Relating to the Various Regimes of Employment and Social Protection of Cultural Workers in the European Union", 2002. Additional source material: UNESCO: The Artist and Society. Paris: UNESCO, 1997; some national portals.

Additional material

ERICarts Institute:  The Status of Artists in Europe, European Parliament 2006.

Judith Staines: Tax and Social Security: a basic guide for artists and cultural operators in Europe. IETM, 2004.

ERICarts Institute: Creative Europe. On the Governance and Management of Artistic Creativity in Europe. Arcult Media, Bonn, 2002.