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Artists/ Music Tax Exemption

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Artists/ Music Tax Exemption

Income you earn from the sale of your artistic works may be exempt from Income Tax in certain circumstances.

Revenue can determine that certain artistic works are original and creative works generally recognised as having cultural or artistic merit.

Revenue can make determinations in respect of artistic works in the following categories:

  • books or other forms of writing
  • plays
  • musical compositions
  • paintings or other similar pictures
  • sculptures.

Guidelines have been drawn up by the Arts Council and by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Revenue use these to determine whether a work is original and creative, and whether it is generally recognised as having cultural or artistic merit. We also sometimes consult with other bodies such as The Arts Council in reaching decisions in relation to Artists’ Exemption.

If revenue decide for a piece of work, you are deemed to have Artists’ Exemption from the year in which the claim is made.  This means that income up to a maximum of €50,000 per annum from these works are exempt from IT.

How to get a determination

In order to get a determination you must send Revenue:

  • An artist 2 claim form
  • samples of your work (see below)
  • supporting documentation in the form of testimonials.

Any income you earned from a sale of your work in previous years is not exempt.

Provided they fall within the guidelines all future works, except for non-fiction books, in the same category will be deemed to qualify.

To qualify for Artists’ Exemption you must be resident in an European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) State, or the United Kingdom.

Advance royalties

You may receive advance royalties for a book or other writing not yet published. If so, you must make a claim in the year in which the royalties are paid if they are to be exempt for that year. You must also send confirmation from the publisher that the book will be published.

You may have sent a claim in the year of the advance payment, but not received a determination as the book had not yet been published. In these circumstances, the advances are subject to Income tax. If, on receipt of the published book, revenue subsequently decide, revenue will review the tax you owe and refund you any overpaid tax.

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