PLR payments


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Over £148,000 in unpaid PLR earnings

Are you registered for PLR and have not heard from us for a few years? If so, we may have outstanding earnings for you. Please contact the PLR office for further information.


The following questions provide guidance on PLR payments:

Who does PLR make payments to?

Payments are made to applicants whose registered titles have recorded sufficent borrowings from libraries in the UK and Ireland. We do not make payments to publishers as they do not qualify under the terms of either PLR scheme. Information regarding eligibility and registration is available in Applying for PLR?


When and how are payments made?

UK PLR payments are made each February, and Irish payments are made each December directly into your bank account.

The UK PLR scheme prescribes a minimum payment threshold of £1 and a maximum of £6,600. The Irish PLR scheme has no prescribed thresholds but they may be applied at the discretion of the Irish PLR authorities.

We also offer payment via collecting society for EEA residents who are members of a collecting society with whom we have an arrangement.


When will I receive my statement?

Your statement provides details of loans and payments due for books which you registered in the previous PLR year. For UK PLR you will receive a statement each January.  For the Irish PLR scheme, statements are sent out each November.

For UK PLR, if you have an online account you will be advised that your statement is available to view online. For Irish PLR, if you have a UK PLR online account activated and have opted to synchronise your details for both the UK and Irish schemes you will be advised that your Irish statement is available to view online.

Statements for both schemes are only posted if there is a payment due.


What do I do if I haven't received my payment?

You should first check the details included in your annual statement to determine the date which your earnings were due to be paid. We advise that you then check your payment method before following the steps below:

If you were due to receive your earnings via bank or building society, you should contact them first and advise them of the payment due date.  If they are unable to trace the payment please contact us.

If you were being paid via a collecting society, please note that it may take up to 4 weeks for your payment to reach you.  If you have allowed adequate time and you have still not received your payment, you should contact us and we will contact the collecting society on your behalf to investigate.


What happens to my earnings if you can’t make the payment?

It is your responsibility to advise us immediately if you change your bank details so that we can ensure that your PLR earnings reach you.  If we make a payment to your nominated account and the payment is returned to us, we will inform you in writing and place the payment on hold until we receive up to date payment instructions.   If no response is received PLR has no further duty to trace you and it is your responsibility to contact PLR.  At the end of six years from the date upon which a payment becomes due, if you have not provided valid payment details, the entitlement to the payment will lapse and the money will go back into the fund for re-distribution.


Are PLR earnings subject to tax and VAT?

For the UK PLR scheme, payments to UK residents will be made without deduction of tax.  You should include details of the sums received as income in your tax returns.  However, for non-UK residents, the PLR office is obliged to deduct tax before payment is made.

Payments to non-UK residents will be subject to tax at the basic rate, under Section 536 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988.

PLR Payments to authors resident overseas - applications and claims by non-residents under double taxation treaties:

If you have income from a source in one country and are resident in another, you may be liable to pay tax in both countries under their tax laws. To avoid 'double taxation' in this situation, the UK has negotiated Double Taxation (DT) treaties with more than 100 countries.


If you are a resident of a country with which the UK has a double taxation treaty, you may be able to claim exemption or partial relief from UK tax on certain types of income from UK sources. The precise conditions of exemption or relief can be found in the text of the relevant treaty.


Relief from UK tax provided in a DT treaty is not automatic. Treaty benefits must be the subject of an application to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Only the overseas person receiving the income can make a valid application.

As a resident of a DT treaty country who receives any of the following income from UK sources:


- interest

- royalties (PLR)

- pensions and purchased annuities


you may be able to apply for relief from UK tax.


The relief available depends upon the terms of each DT treaty and HMRC decides whether an application is allowable. If it is, relief at source is normally allowed on future payments of the income. HMRC directs the payer (by issuing to the payer an exemption notice under Regulation 2 of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (General) Regulations 1970 (SI 1970 No. 488) as amended, to pay the income either:


- without tax deducted

- with tax deducted at a reduced rate of tax as laid down in the DT treaty


Where tax has already been deducted from previous payments of the income, the repayment of UK tax is made by the UK HMRC.


Further information and downloadable forms for each country can be found at GOV.UK (Tel: 0300 200 3300 from UK or +44 135 535 9022 from overseas).

For the Irish PLR scheme, payments will be made without deduction of tax regardless of your country of residence.  Any queries relating to tax and Irish PLR payments should be addressed to the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

PLR is outside the scope of VAT in both the UK and Ireland and should not be declared on VAT return forms. This is because PLR is a statutory activity and makes no taxable supplies.  PLR payment is not a royalty, but derives from the author receiving a share of a subsidy or grant.  In cases of any difficulty in relation to the UK scheme your local VAT offices should be asked to refer to VAT Administration Directorate (VAH2) quoting reference TL1158/82.


How can I amend my payment details?

You can amend your payment details via the following options:


Unfortunately, for security purposes we are unable to accept changes to payment details via email or over the telephone.


How do I receive payments if I live outside of the UK?

PLR uses collecting societies for EEA residents where possible. We have arrangements with the collecting societies listed below which allows us to make block payments, which the collecting society then distributes on our behalf to their individual members.

CEDRO has an arrangement to pay reduced tax and at present Pictoright, DILIA and SIAE do not have a tax exemption in place. All other collecting societies mentioned below can make payments exempt of tax as they have a block tax exemption in place.

If you are a member of one of the collecting societies listed and you are willing to receive payment via this method, please insert the name of the appropriate collecting society when applying (either online or via application form). If you are already registered, you may amend your payment details at any time either via the online service or in writing. If you have nominated a collecting society it is necessary for PLR to contact them to verify your membership and arrange for payments to be collected on your behalf.

We can also make direct credit payments to accounts held in countries with the Euro and accounts in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. For countries in the EU with their own currency (ie Czech Republic, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Romania and Sweden) we will send payment in Euros. However, please note that if the account is not a Euro account your bank may charge you to convert the payment.

Please note that UK PLR payments are taxable unless you apply for individual tax exemption. See above for further details.

Collecting societies

Country of residency Collecting society
Austria Literar-Mechana
Czech Republic DILIA
France SOFIA
Germany VG Wort
Germany Bild Kunst
Ireland ICLA
Italy SIAE
The Netherlands Lira
The Netherlands Pictoright

What is a collecting society?

Collecting societies exist in most countries and collect fees arising from remuneration rights for authors (eg PLR and photocopying rights). An author who is a member of one of the collecting societies that we have an agreement with can choose to have their PLR payments sent via the society. See table above.


How much is paid to foreign collecting societies each year?

In February 2019 (PLR loans year 1 July 2017 - 30 June 2018) the following amounts were paid from the UK PLR scheme to foreign collecting societies to distribute to their members:

Collecting society Amount in £ Amount in €
Bild Kunst 6829.66 7,810.40
CEDRO (Spain) 554.14 633.71
ICLA (Ireland)* 115,112.65 131,642.82
Lira (The Netherlands) 1,043.59 1,193.45
Literar-Mechana (Austria) 100.62 115.07
Pictoright (The Netherlands) 379.61 434.12
SOFIA (France) 10,462.97 11,965.45
VG Wort (Germany) 550.99 630.11
DILIA (Czech Republic) 200.59 229.40

* Only distribute to Irish authors


Can I nominate an alternative payee to receive my PLR earnings?

You may wish to nominate an alternative payee to receive your PLR earnings; this may be a friend, a family member, a charity etc.

Some authors find this more convenient and it doesn’t change the ownership of the right, as the registered owner you can change your payment arrangement at any time by contacting the PLR office in writing or via your online account.

For authors living outside the UK there is also the option of payment via a collecting society.

If you authorise us to send your PLR earnings to an alternative payee, we have no liability for the payment once it is successfully made to the nominated account (Section .49 PLR Scheme 1982; Schedule 4 refers).


What are the payment thresholds?

The UK PLR scheme prescribes a minimum payment threshold of £1 and a maximum of £6,600.

The Irish PLR scheme has no prescribed thresholds but they may be applied at the discretion of the Irish PLR authorities.

Money saved as a result of these thresholds is returned to the fund for redistribution.


Am I guaranteed a payment and how much can I expect to receive?

It is not possible to predict whether you will be entitled to a payment, or how much you can expect to receive as this depends on the popularity of your registered books, and the ‘pence per loan figure’, which changes each year.

The table below shows the payments made to registered applicants for the UK PLR scheme in the last payment round in February 2019 (PLR loans year 1 July 2017- 30 June 2018).

Payment band No of payments made
£5,000 - £6,600 297
£2,500 - £4,999.99 366
£1,000 - £2,499.99 790
£500 - £999.99 843
£100 - £499.99 3,213
£1 - £99.99 16,805
Total Recipients 22,314


Registration service (UK & Irish PLR)

How to apply for PLR, information on eligibility and payments

Applying for PLR

How to apply for UK and Irish PLR and advice on eligibility, including frequently asked questions

PLR forms and leaflets

Application forms with guidance notes and information leaflets can be found here

Registration of non-print material

Advice on registration and eligibility of non-print material (audio-books, ebooks, e-audio books)

Assigning / Renouncing PLR

How to assign PLR rights (gift/sale or transfer on death) or remove interests from the register

Posthumous applications

Information on making first time and subsequent posthumous applications (following transfer of PLR to new owner)

PLR news stories

UK PLR payments update

1 February 2019

Over 22,000 authors have received a payment through UK PLR

Advisory Committee for PLR - new member

3 December 2018

Writer and translator Daniel Hahn appointed to the PLR Advisory Committee

Most borrowed authors and books in UK libraries

27 July 2018

The latest annual data shows the most borrowed authors and books in UK public libraries during 2016-17

Advisory Committee for PLR - new member

11 June 2018

Writer and illustrator Alexis Deacon appointed to the PLR Advisory Committee

More news stories

PLR case studies

…“The financial support is invaluable – translators don’t always get a royalty so PLR is really precious. Equally important is the symbolic recognition of our stake in a book. While it is taken for granted that an author has a stake in a book it is not always remembered that a translator does too.”…

Daniel Hahn, translator and writer, registered for PLR on the publication of his first translation. He values highly the existence of the built-in PLR share to which all translators are entitled. Having translated 35 books and written several others since 2007, Daniel outlined his career as a translator and how he works.

…“I expected pennies and I got pounds! Quite a few more than I had expected. How many times in somebodies life do you get something for nothing?”…

Audio-book narrator Jeff Harding, registered for his PLR share in an astonishing 658 audio books when the extension of UK PLR to non-print material was first introduced in July 2014. He currently has over 700 titles registered. Jeff describes the skills of narration and explains what PLR means to him.

…Tracy Chevalier, Alexis Deacon and S F Said tells us why it is important that contributors register for PLR, how easy it is to apply and the value of PLR to them.…

Watch our short video in which authors Tracy Chevalier and S F Said and writer / illustrator Alexis Deacon talk about why eligible contributors should register for payment through the government-funded PLR scheme.