Tax & insurance

Free Tax Helpline

The SoA is always pleased to give Members and Associates routine advice on tax queries – particularly over the tax treatment of professional writers. In addition, HW Fisher & Company, a firm of accountants specialising in the tax affairs of writers, provides a free tax helpline for our membership.

The Authors and Journalists Team at HW Fisher are dedicated to ensuring the financial security and prosperity of authors and journalists, and have many years’ experience of helping clients to minimise their tax liability. Be sure to check out HW Fisher Tax Guide for Authors on our Guides and Articles page.

To use the tax helpline call: + 44 (0)20 7874 7876 and quote SoA.

Alternatively, email your query (quoting SoA in the subject line) to Andrew Subramaniam at [email protected] or Barry Kernon at [email protected]

Public Liability Insurance

The annual cost to members for £10 million of public liability cover is £23.

PLI covers claims made against you by third parties who have been injured or whose property has been lost or damaged due to your negligence. PLI can act as a precaution and it is also increasingly a requirement for those who work in schools and other Local Authority venues.

The SoA has set up a scheme to allow our members access to a suitable and affordable form of PLI. The cover is only available to UK residents and to those with a valid email address. To keep premiums to a minimum, the policy documents are issued by email and any claims will be dealt with online and over the phone. Therefore the SoA will pass on these details on your behalf. It is essential to familiarise yourself with the details of the policy and exceptions before taking out the cover. 

You will be covered by the policy from the date that you purchase PLI until the day before your SoA membership is due to expire.

It is important to note that although the SoA administers the collection of premiums, the scheme is run by Imaging Insurance and the SoA has no involvement in or responsibility for the scheme. All claims must be made directly to Imaging Insurance.

If you have any queries, please contact us on [email protected] or 020 3880 2230.

Tax Protection Insurance

Member-only group scheme to protect you against the professional costs of dealing with a tax inspection by the Inland Revenue. The scheme runs from 1 May to 30 April.

The annual cost is £12 if you sign up between 1 March an 30 April. Joining the scheme mid-term will incur a £15 administration from our brokers.

The scheme is underwritten by DAS Legal Expenses Insurance through the brokers Baxters.

This insurance is not available if you are trading as a limited company.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Authors understandably worry about the warranties and indemnities that they are required to give publishers. In practice, publishers seldom invoke indemnity clauses when problems arise, so long as the author has acted professionally and responsibly. Nevertheless, if you can afford it, insurance – a legitimate business expense for tax purposes – may well be comforting and reassuring.

Tasker Professional Risks (previously Imaging) have a bespoke insurance product, Writesure, which provides cover specific to the needs of authors and writing professionals. In addition to comprehensive cover bespoke to their needs Members and Associates of the SoA can also benefit from preferential scheme rates as part of our relationship with Taskers. Although the premiums are not cheap, they seem reasonable to us in relation to lawyers’ charges these days.

Writesure provides professional and freelance writers with protection against allegations of  libel and slander, unintentional infringement of copyright, breach of contract, unintended breach of confidentiality and negligence in regards to their work and publications. Limits available from £100,000 – £1m.

For full details, call Tasker Professional Risks on 01903 953 500, contact Paul Woodward at Tasker’s on [email protected], or go to their website at Remember to quote Society of Authors to receive a discount up to 12.5% on open market annual premiums.

Quoteline Direct

Members and Associates are eligible for Gold Club status. Negotiated with over 35 of the UK’s largest insurers, the scheme offers top quality cover and service with savings of up to 35% on motor, home, travel, van, motorcycle insurance and vehicle breakdown cover, plus many other optional benefits. To obtain a quotation, call 0800 970 9899 or visit quoting the reference GOLD. Part of Wilsons Insurance Group.