CT Entertainment Tax

The Department of Revenue Services (DRS) requires each designated withholding agent to withhold Connecticut income tax from a payment for personal services made to an out of state athlete or entertainer, or his or her agent, who is not considered an employee of the designated withholding agent for federal income tax withholding purposes.  Under these requirements, the athlete or entertainer is treated as an employee and the designated withholding agent is treated as the employer of the athlete or entertainer for Connecticut income tax withholding purposes.  Consequently, the designated withholding agent must register with DRS to withhold Connecticut income tax, withhold Connecticut income tax from the payment made to the athlete or entertainer, or his or her agent, and then pay over the Connecticut income tax and file the Connecticut withholding tax returns with DRS as described below.

General Requirements for Withholding Tax at Source of Payment:  A designated withholding agent that contracts to pay a performer or performing entity for services conducted in Connecticut is required to withhold Connecticut income tax at the source of payment at the rate of 6.7% of the gross payment to the performer or performing entity, unless:

  • The payment by the designated withholding agent to the performer or performing entity for the work is $1,000 or less.  See First Exception;
  • DRS grants a request for reduced withholding. See Second Exception;
  • A request for a waiver of withholding is made, and, if required, DRS grants the request.  See Third Exception; or
  • The designated withholding agent is an educational institution paying a speaker engaged either as part of a course offered by the educational institution, or as part of an educational or academic conference, seminar, or symposium sponsored by the educational institution; and the payment for the engagement is $5,000 or less.  See Fourth Exception.

If a presentation of a performer or performing entity is taped or filmed, the taping or filming of the performance in Connecticut makes these rules applicable, whether or not the taped or filmed performance will be televised or broadcast to an audience in Connecticut.

First Exception — Payment of $1,000 or less for a performance:  Where a performer or performing entity is paid $1,000 or less for a performance, or series of performances, by a designated withholding agent.

Second Exception — Request for reduced withholding:  Where a performer or performing entity believes that 6.7% of a payment by a designated withholding agent is likely to exceed by a significant amount the Connecticut income tax liability of the performer, the performer or performing entity may request reduced Connecticut income tax withholding by completing Form CT-588.  The form should be sent to: Department of Revenue Services, Audit Division, Entertainment Withholding Section, 25 Sigourney Street, Hartford CT 06106 or fax 860-541-4599. The form must be received by DRS at least 14 calendar days before the date on which payment will be made for the performance.

Third Exception — Request for waiver of withholding: Where a performer or performing entity fits within one or more of the categories described on this page, the performer or performing entity may request a waiver of Connecticut income tax withholding by completing Form CT-590  Form CT-590 should be sent to: Department of Revenue Services, Audit Division, Entertainment Withholding Section, 25 Sigourney Street, Hartford CT 06106 or fax to 860-541-4599.  The form must be received by DRS at least 14 calendar days before the date on which payment will be made for the performance.

Fourth Exception — Payment of $5,000 or less by an educational institution to certain speakers: Where an educational institution is a designated withholding agent and a speaker is engaged as part of a course offered by the educational institution or as part of an educational or academic conference, seminar, or symposium sponsored by the educational institution and the speaker is paid $5,000 or less for the engagement by the educational institution.

FORMS

  • Form CT-590- Athlete or Entertainer Request for Waiver of Withholding
  • Form CT-588 - Athlete or Entertainer Request for Reduced Withholding