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Old December 24th, 2009, 01:01 PM   #16
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Whenever I'm working for a broadcaster or whoever, I always give the name of that organisation. These days, with the celeb chasing gangs of photographers, it's understandable that organisers are cautious about allowing open access. They could've had bad experiences in the past from so called "freelance" people.

I know some news events are extremely tightly controlled and you have to apply in advance for accreditation.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Andy Tejral View Post
Definitions aside, I'm curious what these events are and why they would exclude a freelancer. Are they using it as a synonym for stringer?
Hello Andy, it was a local/annual Bowl game. Now that I have a little knowledge in the area, I think that is exactly what they are using it as.

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Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
"Freelancer" is not a business entity - it is a loose term to describe your relationship to a client or project. you are not bound by any particular laws because you choose to call yourself a freelancer.
Thanks for summing this up Chris, I was beginning to get confused again. I never thought the term was used as a business entity, I actually thougth it was the exact opposite. Actually, I have no idea what I thought. Thanks for putting things into perspective.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #18
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In the UK, much depends on what Her Majesties Revenue and Customs decide you are. So I never have problems, being technically a 'sole trader' operating as a business, and registered for VAT. So I'm able to somehow legitimise my 'freelance' status. In the UK there are plenty of people who claim to be freelance, when they're really employees, although casual ones. The HMRC have plenty of ways of 'testing' your status.

This is one version of the 'official' test - although they have a few other versions that can be applied.

As a general guide as to whether a worker is an employee or self-employed; if the answer is 'Yes' to all of the following questions, then the worker is probably an employee:

* Do they have to do the work themselves?
* Can someone tell them at any time what to do, where to carry out the work or when and how to do it?
* Can they work a set amount of hours?
* Can someone move them from task to task?
* Are they paid by the hour, week, or month?
* Can they get overtime pay or bonus payment?

If the answer is 'Yes' to all of the following questions, it will usually mean that the worker is self-employed:

* Can they hire someone to do the work or engage helpers at their own expense?
* Do they risk their own money?
* Do they provide the main items of equipment they need to do their job, not just the small tools that many employees provide for themselves?
* Do they agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take?
* Can they decide what work to do, how and when to do the work and where to provide the services?
* Do they regularly work for a number of different people?
* Do they have to correct unsatisfactory work in their own time and at their own expense?


In the media business, this doesn't quite work - use Bryan's example of the BBC - a freelance studio or OB cameraman fails the test, but may well still be accepted as a proper freelancer - I guess the big problem is just having a status that works. I do a few jobs for one company who won't take the chance, and they deduct tax at source - which my accountant simply claims back, and the tax people seem happy. What a mess!
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Old December 28th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #19
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Yes, in the UK many freelance crew members can find themselves taxed at source by employers (not just the BBC). Heads of departments tend to escape, but camera assistants and camera operators for example can find themselves on emergency tax codes paying the full tax and then having to claim it back. It's been like this for nearly 20 years.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
This is one version of the 'official' test - although they have a few other versions that can be applied.
Those are very similar to the "test" the IRS uses to determine if a person is an employee or a subcontractor. Many businesses try to pass off employees as subcontractors because it makes for less paperwork for the business, and saves them the 7.65% Social Security/Medicare contribution.
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