Tax Return for Actor
As an actor, you’ll use speech and your body to tell a story and bring characters to
life, while entertaining, informing, and enlightening an audience. It can be an exciting
and varied career, bringing with it opportunities to work in such diverse areas as TV,
film, theatre, and radio.
What does an actor actually have to do?
A career in acting brings a lot of opportunities, but in general, most acting jobs
• Researching your role
• Learning your lines, and the lines of the other actors so you know when to react
• Taking part in auditions
• Contacting agents
What skills and qualities does as actor need to have?
Acting can be hard work, with long hours, and years of developing your craft. Having
these skills and qualities will give you the best chance of making a career as a
• A love of acting: Like most fields of art, such as music and painting, you’ll need
to work extremely hard and face lots of rejections. You’ll only be able to endure it
if you really love to act.
• A natural talent: You’ll need to always work hard to improve your acting, but it’ll
only work if you already have lots of natural talent.
• A good memory: You’ll need to learn parts correctly and quickly.
• An ability to take criticism well: Just like in all fields of art, as an actor you’ll
receive lots of criticism over your career. You need to be able to accept it
gracefully and use it to improve your acting.
• Fit and healthy: Actors have to work long hours, often at weekends. You’ll need
to keep fit and healthy to make sure you have enough stamina.
• Versatility: The ability to play a range of character types, in a range of formats,
such as TV or theatre, means you’ll get more job opportunities.
• A team player: You might dream of being the star who everyone has their eyes
on, but every successful production is the result of teamwork. You’ll need to be
able to work with lots of different people, from fellow actors, to directors,
producers, and writers.
• Becoming a better actor – drama school or university
Though a few actors manage to become successful without having had any acting
training, most do. You can study at drama school or university for diplomas or degrees
in various subjects related to acting, including:• Acting
• Musical theatre
• Performance studies
• Contemporary theatre
Since acting is such a competitive profession, you’ll be at a huge disadvantage if you
do not have a relevant qualification.
Equity and Drama UK
Taking a course that’s recognised by The Federation of Drama Schools can help
towards becoming a member of Equity, the union representing artists.
How to find work as a freelance actor
Acting is an extremely competitive profession, so you’ll need to put a lot of effort into
looking for acting jobs, and marketing yourself. Here are a few ways to market
yourself as a freelance actor:
• Find an agent: Most professional actors use the service of an acting agent to help
them find work. The agent will usually take a percentage of your pay in return for
any of the jobs they find you. Avoid any agent who requests that you pay them
• Get experience: Usually, only child actors will secure an acting job without prior
experience. If you’re new to acting, you’ll need to find acting experience. This
could be community or youth theatre, college or university drama societies, drama
festivals and competitions, etc.
• Use the internet: Add your details to casting directories such as The Spotlight, and
look for audition opportunities on The Stage or Casting Call Pro.
Finding other work – the life of an actor
Unfortunately, most actors don’t become millionaires. Most actors work on acting
jobs for less than half the year, so have to find other work in between.
Accounting as a freelance actor
There are various benefits to freelancing as an actor, from the freedom and flexibility
to work with a variety of businesses and individuals to more take-home pay. But there
is one downside – accounting. As a full-time employee, your tax is usually taken care
of on your behalf in the form of PAYE. As a freelancer you’ll have to keep a range of
financial records and then prepare and pay a Self-Assessment tax return at the end of
each business year. Accountancy can be very confusing and can distract you from
Getting tax and accountancy advice
With most accountants, you’ll pay them to do your year-end accounts, and then they’ll
forget about you until the next year. But for your business to be run smoothly andsuccessfully, you’ll need advice on tax and accountancy throughout the year,
especially in the early days.
Citi Accounts is different
Citi Accounts provides an affordable and specialist accountancy service designed just
for freelancers. Throughout the year we’ll be on hand to give you any tax and
accountancy advice you might need, including things like:
• Take-home pay
• Which VAT scheme to register for
• Tax allowances
• Choosing between sole trader and limited company
• Running your business in a tax-efficient way
We charge for our accountancy services in a clear and simple way, which means
you’ll never receive an unexpected bill, and you can get in touch for advice whenever
you want without the worry of being charged a fortune like you would with many
Tax Return for Actor