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HMRC digitises Film, Television and production guidance notes –available from 20th December

Thu 19th Dec 2019

HMRC has today moved content from the Film, TV and Production industry guidance notes 2012, into HMRC’s online Employment Status Manual (ESM] This now replaces the old PDF document.

Because HMRC listened to the industry, very little has changed. The main difference has been to expand and modernise the Appendix 1 list of self-employed roles giving the industry greater certainty about employment status for tax.

Links to new pages are here:


The Film, Television and production guidance notes 2012 gives help with the tax affairs of behind the camera workers in the film and TV industry. The guide contains the list of roles in so called “Appendix 1” where HMRC accepts film and TV technicians to be self-employed providing criteria are met.

That document was liked by the industry but had become a bit out of date and hard to find.

With help from the industry, HMRC have expanded the list of roles in Appendix 1 and used more modern job-titles. Workers meeting either the criteria in Column A or Column B can be readily accepted as self-employed for tax. Because we stand by Appendix 1, this will continue to help the industry assess quickly the tax status of large numbers of workers taken on for a particular production. The list applies to directly employed workers and also contractors working through their own companies.

This is the list of roles HMRC have looked at in detail with the industry.

Just because a role is not on the list doesn’t mean HMRC think they are automatically an employee for PAYE. It depends on the facts.

Roles not included on the Appendix 1 list nor covered by the ESM pages should then be looked at in more detail and assessed using other available guidance. HMRC recommend their range of other guidance products: 

New Year Follow Up

HMRC remains committed to working with the Industry. There are some outstanding action points wo work on, and the guidance will be added to ahead of next tax year.