Do You Pay P&W on Nonunion Film Shoot_

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Do You Pay P&W on Nonunion Film Shoot?

Budgeting a film shoot represents an important task for any aspiring filmmaker to familiarize himself with. There are a lot of important details that go into payroll accounting. And the rules change when budgeting union vs. nonunion crew. If you’re considering how to handle payroll taxes for your nonunion workers, you’re probably wondering. Do you pay P&W on a nonunion film shoot? Don’t let pension and wages taxes become a bigger headache than your payroll already is. We’ve put together a resource guide to help you out!

What is P&W?

First, what does P&W even mean when it comes to film crew accounting or budgeting for a shoot? The two letters stand for pension and wages. This is a payroll tax that the employer is responsible for paying in addition to crew salaries.

For each crew member, pension and wages taxes will make up a different percentage of their overall salary based on what they make but the pension and wages tax also varies based on whether the worker is a union or nonunion worker.

Do You have to Pay P&W for Nonunion Workers?

If you’re budgeting for a nonunion shoot, you’re probably wondering, “Do you pay P&W on a nonunion film shoot?” The answer is, yes! 

Pension and wages taxes will vary by worker, based on their base salary and their designation – union or nonunion. These taxes are called crew fringes, which are made up of federal taxes, state taxes, social security, Medicare, and disability or unemployment insurance.

Accountants, Software & Payroll Services

Because calculating payroll is so incredibly important for the film industry, and because film crew workers expect to be paid on time and at the correct rate, many film studios and filmmakers opt to hire an accountant or to use specialized software either.

All as part of a payroll service or to hire an individual payroll service, to help them out with the process of paying out both their union and non-union workers fairly.

Payroll Processing

Payroll processing services generally use software that you can set up to work for your individual payroll needs. Thus, if you’re setting up payroll for a nonunion film shoot, you’ll make sure that all essential payroll items.

Including pension and wages taxes, are included in the calculations and that these calculations are correct.

Beware though, not all payroll processing services are familiar with entertainment payroll and the various union and nonunion rules that go into payroll for set workers including crew and talent.

To ensure you’re making the appropriate contributions and that you’re paying out the appropriate taxes for pension and wages.

In Essence

So, do you pay P&W on a nonunion film shoot? YES! Pension and wages taxes are paid for both union and nonunion workers, but the rates will vary based on the designation of the worker.