New rules for show organisers take effect

Organisers of entertainment programmes and events that involve overseas performers and artistes would be obliged to follow new rules and regulations that came into effect on April 30, 2012.

Event management companies, companies organising programmes involving artistes from overseas must obtain temporary work visas from Immigration New Zealand and follow the prescribed procedures before the concerned artistes arrive in the country for performing in shows.

Performing artistes and others receiving compensation in cash or kind for their services (including travel tickets, accommodation and other expenses) in New Zealand must pay the relevant tax to Inland Revenue Department (IRD) or produce appropriate documents acceptable to the Department, in case the relevant taxes are paid in their home country.

The responsibility for ensuring payment of tax would rest with the organisers of the events in New Zealand.

For official purposes, even performers, artistes and others connected with shows requiring work visas will be categorised as ‘temporary workers.’

Although the new regime, announced by Immigration New Zealand (INZ), merely reinforces the rules that were already in vogue, officials said procedures have been streamlined to benefit show organisers to plan in advance, avoiding last minute hassles.

INZ officials said that the changes in visa requirements for temporary workers apply to entertainers, performing artists and associated support personnel, film and video production and post-production crew, producers and directors.

“The changes will make it easier for entertainment industry companies to bring workers to New Zealand. Inbound productions can create a significant number of jobs for New Zealanders across a range of roles. The changes will reduce the risk of the immigration process reducing New Zealand’s attractiveness to overseas productions.”

Indian Newslink understands from informed sources that IRD is keeping a close watch to ensure that rules relating tax remittance on the income earned by temporary workers are followed by show organisers.

“Apart from performing artistes at entertainment programmes, many others come into the country and ‘work unofficially,’ taking money for rendering services as astrologers, teachers, choreographers and business consultants. They are breaching the law. Those sponsoring such visitors are also liable,” an official said.

INZ has done away with the need for obtaining referrals from organisations such as the New Zealand Film and Video Technicians’ Guild, the Screen Production and Development Association, the Screen Directors’ Guild of New Zealand, the New Zealand Actors Guild, New Zealand Actors’ Equity or the musicians’ branch of the Service and Food Workers Union for work visas for overseas artistes.

“There will be no need for such referrals for applicants whose engagement in New Zealand is for 14 days or less, or on an official co-production; or with an accredited company,” INZ said.

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