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Graham Knight

Scottish musicians to pay no income tax

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The new Scottish administration is planning tax breaks for musicians and writers similar to the scheme that has been operating in Eire for the last thirty years.

The Irish scheme has helped many Irish musicians and over there performers do not pay income tax on performance fees or on royalties received.

The following paragraphs are excerts from an article in today's Sunday Times:

Scots plan tax break for artists

by Jason Allardyce

THE row over handouts and benefits on offer in Scotland but not in England is set to intensify with plans to offer tax breaks to writers, painters and musicians north of the border.

The scheme will give artists tax breaks worth up to 15,000 a year. The Scottish National party hopes it will stimulate the countrys cultural output.

Scottish ministers have already announced the scrapping of university tuition fees and cuts in business rates for most small companies The new proposals due to be announced in the autumn are aimed at encouraging home-grown writers, musicians and painters to stay in Scotland as well as attracting talent from elsewhere. Artists would continue to pay the Inland Revenue and would then be able to claim a rebate from the Scottish executive.

Among its supporters is Irvine Welsh, the millionaire Scottish author of Trainspotting, who moved to Dublin to take advantage of Irish tax breaks. Welsh has told Alex Salmond, the first minister, that applying the perk to Scotland would help to increase cultural output. Other supporters include the painter Peter Howson.

Ian Rankin, author of the Rebus detective novels, said the reality was that most writers earned less than the minimum wage. My first novel earned me 200 in 1986 and you couldnt live on that for a year, he said. I can see people complaining, but I think Scotland has to look to culture and the arts as a viable part of the economy.

The whole article can be read on line at this link:

Scots plan tax break for artists - Times Online

As some of the Scottish musicians I know don't earn 15,000 a year - let alone pay 15,000 in income tax - I think this proposed change is to be encouraged.


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