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  • Withholding requirements

    Unless there is a specific exception, payers need to withhold 20% from all payments made to performing artists and send the withheld amounts to us with any other withholding amounts.

    Exceptions to this include if:

    See also:

    The individual has not provided you with a TFN declaration

    If the individual has not provided the payer with a TFN declaration, they will be required to withhold 47% from payments made to resident payees.

    The individual is under 18 years old

    The amount payers need to withhold from payments to a performing artist performing in a promotional activity will be varied to nil if the following three conditions are satisfied:

    • the individual is under 18 years of age
    • the individual has not provided you with a TFN declaration (NAT 3092)
    • the amounts you pay to the individual do not exceed:  
      • $350 where you pay the individual weekly
      • $700 where you pay the individual fortnightly
      • $1,517 where you pay the individual monthly.

    Note: If you are making a single (one off) payment to the performing artist, apply the monthly threshold.

    Payers will need to withhold 20% from all payments to a performing artist providing:

    • the individual is under 18 years and payments exceed the above thresholds
    • the individual has given the payer a completed TFN declaration.

    Although payers do not need to withhold anything if the transaction satisfied the conditions outlined above, they still need to issue a payment summary to the individual and include the transaction on their PAYG annual report.

    Otherwise, payers must withhold 47% from the payment for resident payees.

    The individual has a downwards or upward variation in place

    If we have granted the individual a variation to a rate less than 20%, the payer should:

    • withhold at this rate for the period specified within the variation notice or until otherwise notified
    • be provided with a copy of the official ATO variation notice by the individual.

    The payer should withhold at a rate higher than 20% providing:

    • the individual has completed a Withholding declaration
    • the individual has requested an upwards variation
    • both the payer and the individual agree.

    Note: The payer must withhold at this higher amount for payments made from the date specified in the declaration.

    The payer has a class variation in place

    If the payer has had a class variation approved by us to withhold an amount from payments they make to performing artists at a rate of less than 20%, they should withhold at this rate from payments covered by the variation.

    The performing artist's agent may withhold

    If a performing artist is contracted to an agency, PAYG withholding and superannuation obligations rest with that agency. You will simply make payment to the agent for the services of the performing artist.

    If the performing artist has entered into a contract with you, the legal obligations relating to PAYG withholding and super contributions rests with you. However, if you and the performer's agent agree, the agent may carry out these functions on your behalf

    Whoever has the contract with the performer is responsible for meeting all withholding, superannuation and reporting obligations.

    See also:

      Last modified: 14 Mar 2018QC 16528