Why haven’t some of the films I worked on ever paid into the Fund?
Secondary market payments are not due until a film generates revenue in a supplemental market. If you do not see a film listed on the master list, it means a contribution was not made to the Fund for that film during the preceding fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). There can be anywhere from a three month to a 24 month lag time between a film’s initial release to the date that secondary markets are triggered. It may generate contributions in 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 who performed services on AFM covered theatrical and/or TV productions, and in some cases, other musicians whose prior recorded product has been utilized in a theatrical or TV motion picture. 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 SAG-AFTRA.
I worked on several sound recordings that were used 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 sound recording 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, which 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 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.
I am a composer and/or a musician. Can you get me work in the film or television industry? Can you place my songs in movies or television?
No. The Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund (FMSMF) is a 501(c)(6) organization – established to collect and distribute residual payments to session musicians who have performed eligible work on qualifying film and television products. We do not obtain work for musicians, nor do we provide services for song placement, or any kind of music licensing, for use in film and television or the entertainment industry in general. We wish you good luck with your artistic pursuits. Learn more about the industry.
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 require 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?
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 minimis (i.e. your total check was less than $10.00 if you are enrolled in Go Paperless, or less than $50.00 if you are not Paperless), or the contribution from the film resulted in a participant share of less than one cent. Learn more about “de minimis” amounts.
If you were omitted from reporting on a film, you can file an omission form, which can be found at: Film Omission Claim Form.
Is the income from my annual distribution check considered “wages”
Yes. Payments from the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund to participants are 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. Learn more about Fund payments.
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. Learn more about “Special Payments After Retirement” (PDF).
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. The payments are wages, and therefore 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 Identification Number (TIN) in order to receive payments?
No. Non-resident aliens without a TIN can elect to sign a waiver form (PDF) authorizing the Fund to withhold the default statutory U.S. tax obligation (currently 30% of the gross amount). Learn more about non-resident alien taxation (www.artistsfromabroad.org).
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 the “Artists from Abroad” website for assistance.
Where can I read more information about the Fund and how it works?
I would like to have my FMSMF checks and related statements sent to an address other than my Primary Residence. Is that possible?
Yes. You can either send via fax, PDF, or mail, a signed written request to the Fund specifying the Mailing Address to which all checks and related statements should be sent, or, if you are registered for Account Access, you can Log In to your account and select My Profile to designate a Mailing Address other than your Primary Residence. Please note: All year-end tax forms will still be mailed to your Primary Residence, as this is the address used for tax reporting and withholding purposes.