Performers Tax Withholding

Massachusetts Performers Withholding must be withheld by MIT if MIT has a contract to pay a performer or performing entity for an event. A performer could be an individual such as a speaker, entertainer or athlete. A performing entity is an entity that employs one or more performers. A tax withholding is required for any performer or performing entity regardless of their state or country of residency.

A tax of 5.3% will be withheld upon the time of payment to the performer or performing entity for gross payments of >$10,000 per event and, in the case of an event having multiple performers, >$5,000 per performer.

There will be an exception for performers or performing entities who file Forms PWH-RW (Reduction of withholding) or PWH-WW (Waiver from withholding) with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (MA DOR). These forms must be filed 10 days prior to the event by the performer or performing entity. Appropriate documentation must be provided from the MA DOR to prevent MIT from withholding the tax.

The performer or performing entity will receive a Form 1099-MISC or 1042-S from Accounts Payable for any withholdings made. Using these forms, the performer or performing entity can receive a credit from the MA DOR for these taxes paid when they file their current year state tax return.

The following information must be provided to Accounts Payable so the appropriate tax may be withheld:

  • Date of the event
  • Name of the Event
  • Venue
  • Name of performer or performing entity
  • Social security number or federal identification number
  • Total compensation

For any questions regarding Performers Tax Withholding, please contact Long Tran at 617-452-4532 or