Non-Missouri Entertainers

The State of Missouri requires that any individual or entity that pays compensation to a performer who is not a Missouri resident (nonresident entertainer), must withhold Missouri income tax in an amount equal to two percent (2%) of the total compensation for entertainment performed in Missouri.  No withholding is required if total compensation to the nonresident entertainer per performance is less than or equal to $300. The regulations apply this definition to all performers even if they are individuals, incorporated, a partnership or provided by another entity, such as an agent, a theatrical group or a traveling company. See Definitions link at the bottom of this page for definitions of italicized words.

Determining the Withholding Requirement

  1. Is each entertainer/performer a resident of Missouri and is each company registered as a corporation in the State of Missouri?
    __ YES, no withholding is necessary.
    __ NO, continue to step 2.
  2. On a per contract basis, is the entertainer/performer being paid $300 or less for all performances?
    __ YES, no withholding is necessary.
    __ NO, continue to step 3.
  3. Is the entertainer/performer being paid to make a presentation for professional or technical education purposes or as part of a seminar, conference, convention, school, or similar program format designed to provide professional or technical education?
    __ YES, no withholding is necessary.
    __ NO, continue to step 4.
  4. Is the university (includes Student Union groups), receiving a benefit from the entertainer’s appearance other than the entertainer’s performance?
    __ NO, no withholding is necessary.
    __ YES, the payment is subject to the 2% withholding. See Withholding Procedures link at the bottom of this page for requirements and detailed instructions.

Exclusions

The regulations exclude presentations for professional or technical education purposes or presentations part of a seminar, conference, convention, school, or similar program format designed to provide professional or technical education. This includes but is not limited to guest speakers at symposia, guest lecturers in classes, seminar speakers, and guest performance artists when providing educational demonstration or instruction, whether or not admission is charged.

The regulations also exclude payments made to nonresident entertainers by organizations exempt from taxation under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) (such as WU) when the exempt organization receives no benefit from the entertainer’s appearance other than the entertainer’s performance.

Contracts with Entertainers

All contracts with Missouri and non-Missouri entertainers must include specific language related to the Missouri entertainment tax. Taxes associated with contracts that have missing or incorrect clause will be the department’s responsibility. See Contract Requirements link at the bottom of this page for specific contract language requirements.

Foreign National Entertainers

Generally, the Internal Revenue Service requires a 30% withholding from all payments made to foreign visitors performing services for the university. This is a federal tax requirement and must be evaluated separately from Missouri law. A foreign national performer, whether or not subject to the Missouri 2% entertainer’s tax, will still be subject to 30% federal withholding. Additional documentation requirements also apply to payments made to foreign nationals. Please contact the Tax Department regarding payments to foreign national entertainers.


Contract Requirements

Special language requirements

Definitions

Per Missouri regulations

Withholding Procedures

How to report withholding

Questions?

Contact the Tax Department
taxdepartment@wustl.edu
(314) 935-4392

Email Tax Department