Getting an LP10/Lorimer letter – video (captioned)

Last Updated on 11 August 2021

Listen to Sandra Coulson, an experienced camera assistant/focus puller, explaining how she got an LP10 letter from HMRC to help her with cash flow.

Read more below the video:
Click CC for captions

Some freelancers are in job roles which are not normally allowed to be paid as self-employed. This means they are paid PAYE, and tax is taken off whenever they work.

For people with dozens of short term jobs – dailies or weeklies – this is very frustrating. They are often over-taxed for the whole year, and then get a rebate when the tax year finishes on 5th April.

If you’re doing lots of short jobs (less than seven days) and use your own kit, it’s possible to get special permission from HMRC to be paid as a sole trader, or even if you’re working through your own limited company.

This means you invoice for the work, get what you invoice for, and pay the right amount of tax at the end of the year once you’ve submitted a tax return. And that really helps with cash flow.

The special permission goes by the name of:

  • LP10
  • Lorimer letter
  • “Special letter”

They’re usually only valid for a single tax year now, so if you think you’re going to apply year on year, keep your old application documents somewhere safe.

Useful resources

HMRC film and TV office contact details:
Tel: 0300 123 2326

BECTU page outlining how LP10 letters work >

Example of LP10 questionnaire with illustrative answers (PDF):

Example of some of the kit entries in Sandra’s application:

  • Camera Assistants Pouch
  • Leather Tape Measure
  • Fat Max Metal Tape Measure 5m/16′
  • Dirty Rigger Tool Belt
  • PD-E Hilti
  • Multi Purpose Tool Pouch
  • Carabiner
  • Torq and Allen Key Set
  • Adjustable Spanner  8″
  • Set of 5 Safety Chains
  • Set of 5 Safety Hooks
  • Highlighter Stabilo Boss Set
  • Red Chinagraph
  • Black Chinagraph
  • Clapper Board Standard Size
  • Clapper Board Small Size
  • Clapper Sticks
  • Ear Plugs 
  • TV Logic F7-H MK2
  • TV Logic 7″ Hood
  • etc etc…

NB: David Thomas Media Ltd is not responsible for the content of other sites nor any financial advice provided by them.

Please note:

Although every effort has been made to provide accurate tips and information, David Thomas Media Ltd accepts no responsibility for any errors, omissions or out-of-date facts. Trainees are advised to seek up-to-date professional advice on all financial and tax matters before making decisions relating to these subjects. Nothing in our notes, courses, webinars, downloads or social media should be considered as financial advice.
We believe our tips are useful - but they are only tips!

Posted on 31 July 2020

  1. Nigel Thomas said:

    Thank you for this video and information, it has hepled me successfully apply for a Lorimer letter. The process only took four days , two of which were taken up filling in the forms. As long as you have your employment records to hand it shouldn’t take that long. Make sure you download the questionnaire with illustrative answers for tips.

    • David said:

      Thanks Nigel. Those are great tips. I’m glad it worked for you. What job role(s) do you have? Sound? Camera? Something else?

      • Nigel Thomas said:

        Freelance broadcast cameraman. I did one of your Finances for Freelancers courses last year and found it very helpful. Thank you and sorry for the late reply.

  2. Chris said:

    Hi David.

    Thanks for this information, It’ll certainly help me with a lot of answers I have. However, my role in the industry is not always a lead role. I’m often PA on productions and often running. This case, I don’t really have much assets like a 1stAC or a recordist. I have also been working freelance for less than 12 months , but within the last few months being paid by a production company that’s been deducting NI. – subsequently lost quite a substantial amount of money through tax/NI . Thanks. Chris

    • David said:

      Thanks Chris. I appreciate your comment.

      As you know, only certain roles are paid as sole traders in film and TV. As a runner (for example) you’ll normally be paid PAYE, with deductions made by the employer.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.