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Artist-author: Taxation (tax return, VAT and CFE)

Verified 01 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

As an artist-author, you are a independent. You exercise creative activity, whether in the field of literature, dance, theatre, music, cinema, graphic and visual arts, or even software.

When you collect income, it is reported either in non-commercial profits (BNC), or salaries (TS). This statement will determine your tax regime.

You declared your activity as an artist-author. Thus, you are subject toincome tax (IR) and must report your income on the tax administration website, via your personal area.

Taxes: Accessing Your Personal Space

In principle, the income of the artist-author (copyright, sales of original works, ancillary activities) may be taxed in the category of non-commercial profits (BNC).

Your tax system depends on your turnover (CA) realised in 2022 and reported in 2023 (threshold €72,600).

Please note

The threshold applicable to turnover achieved in 2023 and reported in 2024 shall be enhanced (€77,700).

AC less than € 72,600

You can choose one of the 2 tax systems following:

  • Micro-BNC : This is a simplified reporting method, you only report your gross income (excluding VAT) and the tax authority calculates your taxable income by applying a abatement of 34% for professional expenses.
  • Controlled Reporting Regime : this plan requires a detailed accounting of your expenses and your professional income. Your taxable profit (or deficit) is the net profit realised during calendar year taking into account actual income and expenses paid in the same year. This scheme is mandatory above €72,600 No recipes.
AC greater than € 72,600

Above €72,600 Excluding recipes per year, you are obligatorily subject to controlled reporting regime.

This plan requires a detailed accounting of your expenses and business income. Your taxable profit (or deficit) is the net profit realised during calendar year taking into account actual income and expenses paid in the same year.

On the other hand, copyright may be taxed in the salaries. Publishers, producers or collective management organisations (example: Sacem: titleContent) report directly to the tax authority.

The salary and wages regime applies automatically, whether the artistic activity is carried out primarily or incidentally. However, you can opt out and report all your income in NLC.

Applicable VAT rates

The VAT rate to be applied varies depending on the nature of the operation ::

  • Sale of an original work by the author or his successors: 5,50%
  • Transfer of copyright (right of representation, reproduction, adaptation, exploitation and interpretation): 10%
  • For all other operations :: 20%

The creation aid or grants paid by various public or private bodies VAT-exempt. Thus, the VAT rate is 0 unless they are for consideration a supply of goods or services or are complementary to the price of a taxable transaction.

The VAT rates for "ancillary" activities depend on the service concerned. For example, when they are paid directly by the students, course given in the artist-author's studio or workshop and workshops artistic or writing practices, VAT-exempt.

VAT deductible

The VAT-free exempts companies from VAT reporting and payment.

Your right to benefit depends on turnover (CA) from your artistic activities in the previous year (N-1)

AC less than € 47,600

You benefit from VAT-free on your artistic recipes (copyright, sales of works...).

In this context, you must issue a tax free to your customer with the words “ VAT not applicable - Article 293B of the CGI ”.

AC greater than € 47,600

Beyond the €47,600, you are subject to VAT for the following year and you'll have to charge it. You must also pay VAT in the current year if the current year's revenue exceeds €58,600. Therefore, the obligation to declare and invoice VAT takes effect on 1to day of the month following the overrun.

Please note

For income from ancillary activities (workshops, courses, public meetings), you benefit from the VAT deductible when your turnover in the previous year does not exceed €19,600 and if it does not €23,700 for the current year.

VAT payment option

Whatever your annual turnover (even less than €47,600) you can opt for VAT payment and charge your customers. This allows you to recover deductible VAT on professional expenses.

The request for an option must be made in writing to the company tax department (SIE) on which you depend.

Who shall I contact

Option takes effect 1to day of the month in which it is declared.

The option must cover a period of 2 years renewable (including the application). Thus, an option formulated on 1to November of year N will have its effects until 31 December N+1.

Withholding of VAT on certain copyright

You exempt from any reporting obligation in respect of VAT when collecting copyright from publishers, producers or collective management bodies (Adagp: titleContent, SAIF: titleContent, Sacem: titleContent, etc.)

This exemption applies both to artists eligible for the basic exemption and to artists-authors liable for VAT.

In fact, when your broadcasters pay you copyright, they operate withholding of VAT they themselves give to the public purse.

General case

This withholding tax is equal to the amount of VAT calculated at the legally applicable copyright rate (10%(b) less a flat-rate deduction entitlement to 0,80%, or a net deduction of 9,20%.

Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion

This withholding tax is equal to the amount of VAT calculated at the legally applicable copyright rate (10%(b) less a flat-rate deduction entitlement to 0,40%, or a net deduction of 9,60%.

You can waive withholding tax. In this case, you pay and self-report VAT to taxes.

The company property assessment (CFE) is a local tax payable by professionals who habitually engage in a self-employed professional activity at 1to January of the taxation year, irrespective of their legal status, activity or taxation system.

The following artists are exempt ::

  • Painters, sculptors, engravers and draughtsmen considered artists and selling only the product of their art
  • Art photographers for their activity related to the making of photographs, the assignment of their works of art and the assignment of their property rights relating to their photographic works
  • Authors and composers
  • Lyrical and dramatic artists
  • Graphics subject to the limitation of their activity to the creation of graphic works, which excludes, for example, the invoicing of works related to printing techniques.

On the other hand, software developers may not of this exemption.

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