Malaga music crackdown

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There is currently a crackdown on venues offering live music in Malaga.


The Provincial Work and Social Security Department is reportedly cracking down on venues offering live music in Malaga province.

 

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Work inspectors apparently never sleep, and visit premises at weekends, holidays and in the early hours, often accompanied by the police.

According to a report in a local Spanish daily, the Ministry of Work is demanding that they legalise the situation of musicians who perform there.

They can either hire them on the general regime, which means paying €20 in social security per musician and per performance, or each of the musicians can pay their own monthly social security as self-employed workers, which amounts to around €256.

In the past few months, all kinds of venues throughout the province have been visited by work inspectors asking to see papers for singers and musicians and demanding that their situation be legalised.

Most of the musicians complain that they don’t earn enough to make it worth their while paying to be self-employed, and they also face the difficulty that if the venue has to pay their social security, they get less money for the gig.

Performers and owners say they are not against the government cracking down on those trying to avoid paying taxes on the money they earn, but they think that a difference should be made between professionals who are earning a regular income from their music and those who play the occasional gig in a bar.

Musicians believe that many places will be put off hiring them because of all the red tape it involves and the fact that if they fail to hire them legally, they can face fines which can amount to more than €180,000.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. To add to this, many venues, especially the smaller ones do not appreciate that if they charge entry, a cover charge or are ticketed, then they have to pay the IVA included in that charge, which is 21%. (entertainment is deemed a luxury so it´s higher rate of 21%) Many venues have been wise to this and I have already noticed that some are stating the cost either “+IVA” or “IVA included”!

    It is down to the venue or the person collecting the money to ensure this IVA is paid! So for example, if there is a €10 or €15 cover charge the net after IVA deduction would be €8.26 and €12.40. The point being that many venues are used to paying their entertainers by giving them 100% of the entrance fee and / or not accounting for the IVA. This is not correct, actually it has never been correct, but on the whole everyone seems to get away with it, up to now!
    …continued…

  2. … continued…
    I do think these crackdowns will cover this aspect as well and this was checked at venues we were at with shows last year!

    So basically it´s a double whammy… IVA to be paid on entrance by the venue, tax to be paid by entertainers on their earnings! And both can get hefty fines if they are caught avoiding them!

    I understand fines for not accounting for or avoiding IVA start at about €1500-2000!

    I am not sure how this affects charity events, and guess it depends if backed by a registered charity that can offset the IVA, but anyone organising and charging entry should probably check!

    But if you are involved in the industry, either as a venue or entertainer here on the Costa del Sol, I would ensure you are covered, you´ve been given the heads-up and wouldn’t want the authorities to have the satisfaction of doling out loads of fines!

  3. As a performing musician, I would happily pay out to become legal. However I think it’s ridiculous that those becoming “autonomo” are forced to pay a fixed rate, regardless of their income. This means that an owner of a small village bar is required to pay the same as the manager of a hotel with 500 rooms. If the charge was a percentage of my monthly income, I would sign up tomorrow. The fact that businesses have to pay insane amounts to pay each employee’s social security is also a problem. It means that many workers have a contract which states that they work half the hours that they actually do and also makes businesses reluctant to employ in the first place. I believe this is the reason that many of the bars and shops in Spain are under staffed and offer a service which is below average.
    …continued…

  4. …continued…
    The province of Málaga NEEDS tourism and making it difficult for holiday makers to find entertainment is tantamount to financial suicide.
    I really hope this situation will be resolved soon.

  5. A sales tax increase of 21% against the previous 10% plus now the risk of a hefty fine makes replacing a couple of musicians with a 2 euro pirate compilation CD very attractive.

    Imagine all those ventas in the campo getting raided and the flamenco dancers and guitar players having their social security and tax returns to hand… I am sure all those “stars” playing at Starlite festival will be getting up at 6am to queue at the police station for a NIE number then register with social security or employ a lawyer and head to the notary to become ‘autonomo’. Not sure how productive this crackdown will be.

  6. These rules and regulations are not new, IVA and Social Security relating to live entertainment has always been payable, they are just enforcing the rules where before many were perhaps avoiding payment. I am not saying the rules are correct, because levying of fines will only have a detrimental effect on the wide range of great live music available on the Costa del Sol. If entertainers simply cannot afford to pay the taxes and it’s not financially viable for venues who charge entry to also have to pay the IVA there just won’t be that much live music available! There should perhaps be a campaign to change the rules!

  7. Buster, you’ve missed the point! This isn’t to do with the type of ‘stars’ performing at Starlite, who are (or should be) already paying taxes on the thousands they earn from their performances… The crackdown is on small-time performers or amateurs, such as the dancers and guitar players you mention, who in most cases don’t earn enough for it to be worth their while registering as self-employed. Very unfair on them. Yes, they should contribute something, but their situation should be taken into account.

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