Some members may be due foreign royalties for their work as a performer, while others may receive them as a beneficiary/heir of a performer.
The first thing to know about foreign royalties is that they are NOT residuals.
Foreign royalties are collected as a result of laws in other countries, which were adopted in the 1980s. Those laws provide for payments to artists in audiovisual works to compensate for private copying (home taping), cable retransmissions, video rentals and other uses of such works.
After resolving a dispute with the motion picture studios, which were claiming that foreign royalties should be paid entirely to the studios rather than actors, Screen Actors Guild entered into cooperation agreements with collecting societies in certain foreign countries who collect these royalties. The societies allocate a portion of the royalties collected to those covered performers who appear in audiovisual productions that are subject to remuneration under the local laws.
The royalty payment results from the collections and distributions made under those foreign laws and collecting society agreements; on behalf of actors, SAG-AFTRA receives the royalties and distribution instructions from the collecting societies, and SAG-AFTRA personnel use this information to distribute the royalties to actors. SAG-AFTRA distributes foreign royalties on a quarterly basis to actors who have accrued at least $10 in royalties. Some special rules apply to these royalties:
- Foreign royalties are not commissionable to your franchised talent agent under the Agency Regulations but may be so under a general services agreement with a non-franchised agent.
- Foreign royalties are not subject to Pension and Health contributions, therefore will not be reflected on your earnings statements from the Plans. You are not required to pay dues on these monies. SAG-AFTRA has taken a fee to cover the actual costs of collection, administration and distribution.
- Generally no taxes are withheld from these payments. In certain circumstances, the payroll house may be required to withhold taxes. Please consult your tax professional with respect to tax consequences.
Think you are due foreign royalties? Search the tracker below to find out.
Ways to search:
Type in full or partial first name
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Select the first letter of a last name from the alphabet
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Please note: While this tracker is continuously updated, the information provided is based on data from the previous day. Therefore, the actual amount you receive may differ from the amount currently available for viewing.
If the total due to you equals $10 or more, you will automatically be issued a check in the current quarterly distribution period. You need to take no further action. Here's what you need to know in other circumstances:
Less than $10 - If the total due to you is less than $10, the funds will continue to accrue until they equal or exceed $10, at which time they will automatically be included in the next quarterly distribution. You may, however, request release of the less than $10 accrual (as long as the amount is greater than $1).
If you are logged into the system, you will be provided with a release function that will automatically include your amount in the current quarterly distribution period. If you do not wish to log into the system, or you are a beneficiary/heir, please email: email@example.com or phone (323) 549-6450 and include the following information: (1) full performer name, (2) member ID or last 4-digits of the social security number, and (3) indicate that you want the less than $10 accrual released.
Unclaimed - If the union is holding unclaimed foreign royalties, it is because we cannot locate you. We may not have current or updated information in our database or we may not know you are the rightful beneficiary/heir. (For information on how to update your member information, please contact SAG-AFTRA Membership Services at (323) 549-6778).
SSN Mismatch – Please note there will be a delay in the processing of your royalty payment as the payroll house has determined your name does not match your social security number. You should receive a notice from the payroll house, Reel Payroll, Inc. along with instructions on how to make the necessary corrections. If you do not receive a letter, but your website status indicates SSN Mismatch, please contact Irma Lopez at: IrmaL@Media-Services.com or (310) 440-9682. Once your information is corrected, your payment will be processed in the next quarterly distribution.
Quarterly distributions are made approximately five to six weeks after the close of each calendar quarter. Any requests for release, or accruals that accumulate to $10 or greater after the close of a given calendar quarter will be included in the next calendar quarterly distributions.
If you have any questions concerning these payments, please email ForeignRoyalties@sagaftra.org or call (323)549-6595.
If you have any questions concerning the Class Action Settlement in Osmond v. Screen Actors Guild, Inc., please read the following legal notice: http://www.sagaftra.org/notice