Where do I pay income tax when performing in another country?

  • Posted on: 28 January 2020
  • By: Eileen Möller

Normally, people only pay income taxes on their worldwide income in their country of residence. However, performing artists (those “on stage”) are subject to a special rule which is valid almost in every country: their performance fees can also be taxed by the country in which the performance takes place. This is called “source taxation” or “withholding taxation” (the German term is “Ausländersteuer,” foreigner’s tax). The legal basis is a so-called double taxation agreement between two countries. In most cases, the concert promoter or organizer abroad has to deduct these source taxes from the negotiated performance fee and pay it to the national tax office. To avoid double taxation in your country of residence, the promoter needs to give you a confirmation letter that the tax was paid. In general, it’s important to talk about this issue during contract and fee negotiations. You can find a checklist for negotiations, further information and a detailed information for promoters in Germany on the touring artists website, a general introduction to the topic is available in the Cookbook for Cultural Managers: Artist Taxation in an International Context. 
Questions? Sign up for a free consultation with the touring artists helpdesk.