Voice Actor and Speaker FAQ

adag Payroll Services GmbH specializes in Germany-wide and agency-independent payroll accounting for short-term and temporary employees.

We do not place personnel and do not agree on wages or bonuses. We are exclusively service providers of film, television and advertising productions.

The basis for the settlement is the information and data on the employment contract you have completed. We verify compliance with the law regulating a general minimum wage(Mindestlohngesetz – MiLoG), but we cannot make any statements about pay agreements between you and your agency or production because, apart from agreeing to settle your wages, we are not part of the pay negotiations. Your client or agency is responsible for all questions related to the amount of your salary, working hours etc.

The payroll includes, among other things

  • the collection and verification of your data,
  • the control and documentation of compliance with the minimum wage,
  • cashless payment processing,
  • the legally required declarations for offices and authorities, such as the wage tax declaration and the declarations for social insurance,
  • Preparation of payrolls, income tax certificates, SI registration certificates, certificates of additional income, income certificates and employment certificates,
  • the processing of remuneration statements for the German Pension Insurance.

Under the Act Regulating a General Minimum Wage(Minimum Wage Act – MiLoG), a general statutory minimum wage will apply across the board in Germany for employees and for most interns from January 1, 2015. Since October 1, 2022, the statutory minimum wage has been 12 euros gross per hour worked. Of course, this also applies to your employment.

According to a 2017 decision by the Federal Social Court, dubbing actors are dependent employees in any case. Invoicing is no longer possible for this reason. Persons who work full-time as dubbing actors* are to be classified as “non-permanent employees”.

Unemployed persons are those who hold jobs of less than one week. Professional employees are persons whose gainful employment is economically and temporally determined by these occupations.

Although the BSG’s decision concerned the activity of a voice actor, social security law does not differentiate according to job titles or product types, but only on the basis of the job description. Due to this, the ruling is generally applicable to speaker activities.

However, the employee continues to be responsible for taxation. Accordingly, only social security contributions and no payroll tax are deducted from the fees. Sales tax is reported on the payroll.

If you are frequently employed for short periods of time (maximum one week) and the income and time spent on these assignments exceed the income and time spent on your permanent or self-employed activities in the current calendar month, you are considered to be a non-permanent employee and are subject to social insurance contributions.

In this case, the employer pays employer and employee contributions to health, nursing care and pension insurance. During non-employment periods between your work assignments, you continue to be insured as an employee for up to 3 weeks and can claim insurance benefits. As a non-employed person, you are not required to pay unemployment insurance contributions; therefore, you are not required to pay contributions in this branch, but you are also not entitled to ALG1.

If parenthood exists, we require written proof of this (birth certificate or similar).

In case of membership in a private or voluntary health insurance, a recent certificate (not older than one year at the time of employment) is required. For this purpose you can e.g. submit the following documents:
– Membership certificate
– Insurance policy
– Certificate of pension expenses
– Contribution adjustment

We will need written proof if you have voluntary/private insurance and any of the following apply to you:
– The compulsory insurance limit was exceeded in the previous year
– A full-time self-employed activity has been established
– Grandfathering 2002 over 52,200€ (private KV)
– Pensioners: A copy of the pension certificate or pension notice is required.
– Students: A copy of the current enrollment certificate is required.
– Your coverage includes an entitlement to sick pay by making an election declaration

In order to work in Germany, non-EU citizens need a valid residence and work permit. The documents must be presented at the place of work and a copy must be submitted. If adag Payroll Services GmbH does not have a copy of these documents, neither an accounting nor a payment of your wages can take place. You can find more information here: Foreigners’ Registration Office.

We need your social security number to register you with the relevant health insurance fund or the Federal Miners’ Insurance Fund. You can find this on their social security card. If you cannot find the ID card, you can also ask your health insurance fund or the German pension insurance for the SV number. You can also apply for a new SV card there if you have lost it or something similar.

If you have never been employed, even marginally, you will be assigned an SV number with our registration. You will be informed about this by the responsible pension insurance institution. Please note that in this case you cannot be automatically unsubscribed by us. It is therefore particularly important that you provide us with your SV number upon receipt.

In principle, employers must withhold wage tax from wages and pay it to the tax office in the case of dependent employment. However, this is not the case for activities as a dubbing actor/voiceover artist. Although you are a dependent employee under social insurance law, you are self-employed under tax law and must pay tax on the income yourself.

For this reason, it is important that you indicate your personal tax number (§8 BuchO) and the responsible tax office on the master data sheet so that we can integrate this into your accounting documents.

Also required is an indication of the assessment for sales tax (7%, 19% or small entrepreneur according to §19 UStG).

The remuneration recorded on the employment contract is a gross wage.

In the context of short-term employment, only wage tax, solidarity surcharge (depending on the gross wage and the tax class) and, if applicable, church tax are deducted and paid to the tax office. The calculation of the wage tax / church tax is based on your individual wage tax deduction characteristics. These are retrieved from the tax office using your tax identification number via the ELStAM procedure.

If you are subject to social insurance contributions, additional employee contributions to health, nursing care, unemployment and pension insurance will be deducted.

For your income tax return, you will receive a wage tax certificate in addition to your pay slip. Depending on your annual income, you may be able to reclaim payroll taxes up to the full amount.

The payment amount is equal to the net amount shown on your pay stub.

The gross wage, including the agreed surcharges, less any statutory levies, will be transferred to the bank account specified by you no later than the end of the month following the assignment/working day.

Incomplete or incorrectly completed employment contracts or employment contracts without the appropriate proof of status cannot be processed or cannot be processed within the above-mentioned period. Based on legal regulations, we must insist on the completeness of the evidence and the accuracy of the information you provide.

If we retrieve your individual wage tax characteristics as part of the ELStAM procedure, we are dependent on the ELStAM feedback for payroll accounting. In the best case, the ELStAM feedback is sent one day after our request. However, this best case is not always given. The ELStAM feedback often reaches us several days later. Especially at the turn of the month, the ELSTER servers are very busy due to the large number of statements and the return may take more than a week.

If you have submitted the missing documents to us, we are generally unable to pay out immediately, as we must first retrieve your income tax deduction characteristics via ELStAM after completing your documents and wait for the corresponding feedback.

The prompt settlement and the fastest possible payment of your wages is not only in your interest, but also in ours. Please take leave of the idea that a delay in payment would have any advantages for us. The opposite is the case.

  • Income certificate
    We will send you a certificate of income without further request if you have indicated on the employment contract that you are unemployed or unemployable and registered with the Federal Employment Agency as a trainee or jobseeker (with and without benefits).
    Since our payroll software creates these automatically, it is not necessary for you to mail us an income statement for further processing.
  • Certificate of additional income (ALG 1)
    You can obtain a certificate of additional income from us at any time upon request: Contact.
    Since our payroll software creates them automatically, it is not necessary for you to send us a certificate of additional income by mail for further processing.
  • Certificate of employment (ALG 1)
    You can obtain a certificate of employment from us at any time upon request: Contact.
    Since our payroll software creates these automatically, it is not necessary for you to mail us a certificate of employment for further processing.
  • Remuneration statements for the German Pension Insurance Fund
    You can send us your remuneration statements for the German Pension Insurance at any time by mail or e-mail (preferably as a PDF form). We will fill it out for you and send it back to the German Pension Insurance or back to you if you wish.

In order to bill and register you correctly, we depend on the accuracy of your information. Incorrect information about yourself or your social security status not only delays payment, but often results in a significant expense.

Since we work closely with agencies and authorities, incorrect information is usually noticed quickly and ambiguities can be cleared up. In some cases, however, misrepresentation can have consequences years later. If, for example, a company audit reveals that you have not reported to us as an unemployed job/training seeker, the German pension insurance will recalculate social security contributions and demand that you pay them back.

Proper accounting is therefore not only in our interest, but also in yours.

If you have inadvertently or knowingly provided incorrect information on the employment contract about yourself or your social security status, please contact us immediately so that we can correct your data and, if necessary, correct any corresponding notifications in good time.

If you are unsure about filling out the employment contract and need help, please use our completion guide provided for you. Of course, we are also at your disposal by phone or e-mail: Contact.