Why haven't some of the films I worked on ever paid into the Fund?
A film must generate some income or revenue in a supplemental market to trigger an obligation on the part of the producer or other rightsholder of the film to contribute to the Fund on the film's behalf. If you do not see a film listed on the master list, it means that the film did not have a contribution made to the Fund on its behalf during the preceding fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). It may still generate contributions for subsequent years.
Do composers and vocalists also receive payments from the Fund?
The Fund collects and distributes residuals for session musicians and music preparation personnel working on film and/or television productions, or in some cases other musicians whose prior recorded product has been utilized in a motion picture or television film. The Fund does not cover composers, except to the extent they do "bargaining unit work" such as conducting, orchestrating, etc. This is also true in the case of vocalists. Composers may be covered under ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. Vocalists may be covered under AFTRA or SAG.
I worked on several phonograph recordings that were utilized in films but I'm not sure if I have been properly credited. How does this process work?
Initially, to receive credit for Fund payments as a result of a "new-use," there must be an AFM phonograph session contract (B4) filed with the appropriate local. The B4 should list the title(s) of any songs recorded during the session, along with the names, social security numbers and wages of all the participants. A motion picture scoring session contract (B7) is then created by the AFM. This contract acknowledges the usage of a particular song in the film and provides the Fund with the appropriate wage information. This B7 becomes the basis for properly crediting the participating musicians by the Fund. In the absence of the B7, the Fund must be able to acquire copies of the original B4s as they are essential for crediting the participating musicians.
Can I use my U.S. federal tax I.D. number and have my Fund checks made payable to my corporation?
No. The collective bargaining agreement and the IRS mandate that payments be treated as wages. As such, taxes must be taken out despite the fact that original session payments were made to your corporation.
Can I have my checks deposited to my account by direct deposit?
Yes. We will arrange for direct deposit to your account. Contact the Fund for details.
Why didn't I receive a check for a film I worked on, even though the title appears on the master list?
You may have been omitted from the reporting, or the total check amount was de minimus (i.e. your total check was less than $10.00 or $50.00 if you are not Paperless), or the contribution from the film resulted in a pro-rata share less than one cent. Please read the changes to the de minimus amounts HERE.
Is the income from my annual distribution check considered “wages”?
Yes. Payments made from the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund to our participants represent deferred wage payments – or residual payments – for services performed as a musician in previous years for one or more employers. These payments are made on behalf of those employers. While the Fund is the withholding agent for the employer, it is not and has never been the direct employer of any of our participants. For more information, click HERE
I'm currently receiving Social Security retirement benefits. Why is Social Security and Medicare taken out of FMSMF earnings?
As the Fund is considered the withholding agent of the employer by the IRS, we are obligated to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes on your deferred wage payments even if you are already retired and receiving those benefits. For more information, click HERE
Will I need to report the income from my check to federal and state agencies, i.e, EDD or state disability insurance?
Yes. All residual payments received from the Fund are subject to reporting as earned income and you will need to report your deferred wage payments to all appropriate agencies, including those that administer unemployment and disability insurance.
Can these payments be garnished or attached for child support, tax liens, etc?
Yes. As wages these payments are subject to garnishment for tax liens, child support payments, and other applicable obligations by authorized agencies.
I am a non-U.S. or Canadian musician that is credited with the Fund. Do I need to have a Tax Identificiation Number (TIN) in order to receive payments?
No. Non-resident alients without a TIN can elect to sign a waiver form authorizing the Fund to withhold the default statutory U.S. tax obligation (currently 30% of the gross amount). To download the Fund's Waiver Form CLICK HERE . Additional information regarding non-resident alien taxation can be found at:
I am a non-resident alien participant. What exemptions am I entitled to?
You may be entitled to submit an Exemption From Withholding Form 8233. For further information, and for questions regarding Form 1042, please refer to this website for assistance: www.artistsfromabroad.org/tax-requirements/foreign-artist-taxation.html.
Where can I read more information about the Fund and how it works?
For more information, please read our Musician's Pamphlet. For an extended history of the Fund, please read our complete Musician's Brochure.