As dancers/dance teachers/choreographers, for the most-part, you will be self employed- you will be contracted to do with work by different companies, and occasionally employed by them (on their payroll), but primarily, you will work for yourself. Once you become self-employed you fall within the provisions of self-assessment for tax purposes. This means that you are personally responsible for ensuring that your tax affairs are kept up to date.

It is important to learn about declaring your tax returns as a self-employed artist. Gaby Symth, chartered accountant, regularly visits Dance Irelad and goes through the process with our Members. Here are some simple tips, he provides on filing your tax returns.

  • Once you become self-employed it will be necessary to register with Revenue for Income Tax.
  • Online registration must be done via ROS, which you can register for here. Once you have ROS up and running you can set up your income tax registration and manage your tax affairs using the service.
  • Download the Revenue Online Services Offline Application- see here., and fill it in as many times as you like, to see what information is needed, when filing your tax returns
  • ROS have a support area online, to help you, when filling in forms- see here.
  • The more you do as an artist, the less you need from an accountant, and the less you will have to pay them.
  • Do as much as you can yourself. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
  • About 90% of the information on ROS returns, are not relevant to artists, and you will get used to this.
  • Your job as a tax payer, is to fill in this form, every year, and give them as much information on your income as you have.
  • You must pay and file on or before 31 October, for the previous year- so you file in October 2019 for the income you earned for the whole year of 2018.
  • When earning income from both PAYE/employment and self-employment it is still necessary to register for income tax under the self-assessment system. The employer will deduct the necessary PAYE/PRSI/USC from the employment income and you will need to account for any additional tax due when filing your tax return.
  • The total income i.e. employment and self-employed income is declared to Revenue. The tax is calculated on the total income and the taxpayer receives a credit for the deductions that the employer has taken at source. Any taxable welfare payments received in the year should also be declared on your income tax return
  • Once you become self-employed it is necessary to maintain proper books and records to enable you to make your returns to Revenue. This is a requirement according to Revenue legislation, and becomes important if your business and tax affairs are ever selected for a Revenue audit.

The Revenue Online Service website has a large database of videos and articles to help you navigate the system- see here.

We regularly run classes on using this system, so keep up to date, with what events are on here.