Do you have to pay taxes and social security contributions on reimbursements for your copyright or accompanying rights?

Are you a photographer, author, sculptor or painter? Then as a creative artist you have copyright over the works you create. This is also the case for performing artists such as musicians or actors, but their rights are accompanying rights. If you transfer these rights, you receive a reimbursement that is taxable as income from movable property. Whether or not you have to pay social security contributions and VAT depends on the manner and the income you receive as a result.

Do you have to pay taxes and social security contributions?

  • Taxes: your earnings from copyright and accompanying rights are taxable up to EUR 57,080 as income from movable property (2014 income year). You only pay 15% tax on these earnings, once expenses have been deducted. Find out more about taxes on copyright and accompanying rights.
  • Social security contributions:
    • as an employee:because the NSSO does not view copyright and accompanying rights as elements of pay, you do not pay any social security contributions on the reimbursements.
    • as a self-employed person:the following system applies to the social security contribution on the reimbursement you receive for transferring your copyright and accompanying rights:
      • reimbursement ≤ EUR 57,080: you do not have to pay social security contributions on the reimbursement you receive for transferring your copyright and accompanying rights.
      • reimbursement > EUR 57,080:
  • VAT: if you are liable for VAT and do not benefit from the exemption for small enterprises (turnover less than EUR 15,000 a year), you must charge 6% VAT on your invoices when transferring copyright. Publishing contracts are exempt from VAT.
    Find out all about VAT on the transfer of copyright and accompanying rights
    .