TaxPersonal TaxClinton: statesman or artiste?

Clinton: statesman or artiste?

As Bill Clinton slips from the world of politics, debate has been raging over whether the former president is now a 'statesman' or an 'entertainer'. And it has been left to the UK Inland Revenue to make the fateful decision.

Clinton was in Harrogate on Friday to speak at the Yorkshire International Business Convention, and the organisers’ accountants Horwath Clark Whitehill contacted the Revenue because the firm needed to know if it should deduct tax at source from Clinton’s fee.

Tim Parr, partner at HCW’s Keighley office, explained: ‘Being overseas-based, it meant if he was an entertainer then we?d have to withhold tax at source.’

But if he could be identified as a ‘statesman’ Clinton could be paid a gross figure. Parr told Accountancy Age he was left biting his nails. ‘We only got the answer Friday and he spoke on the same day.’

The Revenue eventually agreed Clinton could be classified as a statesman but its certificate did nothing to calm doubts. Worryingly it insists the ‘artiste’s name’ is Clinton William Jefferson and his ‘stage name’ Bill Clinton.

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