Taking Keira business: Does Ms Knightley really get by on £30,000 a year?
She won praise for her supposedly “frugal” wedding this month (if you forget about the couture dress and guests flying to France), and now Keira Knightley’s finances are back in the spotlight with the revelation that she earned “just” £30,000 in salary last year.
The star’s firm, Kck Boo Ltd, earned £1.5m, from her film and modelling work, but according to reports she paid herself only £11,000 in wages and £20,000 in dividends.
The actress and “face” of Chanel, like many BBC presenters, such as Fiona Bruce, has “incorporated” herself. This means money earned can be paid to a company rather than an individual, which can mean less tax is paid. National insurance contributions are reduced, a low wage is taken (ideally under the taxable threshold) and the rest of the money can then be taken by the company director as dividends, which are taxed differently to salary (this year, it’s possible to take around £30,000 tax-free). Business expenses can then be used to try to offset some of the 20 per cent corporation tax that companies have to pay.
While Knightley’s earnings are still not high by Hollywood standards, she is likely to be given free designer clothes and products. She is also worth an estimated £30m (according to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List), and so is likely to have a fair amount in savings, too.
She is not, however, the only high-profile figure to take a relatively low salary. This week, it was revealed that Gordon Brown earned £1.4m last year outside of politics, but he said all the money was given to charity or to finance his charity work, and he only kept his MP’s wage. Warren Buffett, the billionaire, is paid $100,000 a year by his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, while Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and New York’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, both take a salary of $1. Arnold Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, refused to pick up his $124,000 annual salary as Governor of California, dismissing it as “petty cash”.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
North Korea threatens Britain over 'mud-slinging' Channel 4 thriller focusing on Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons programme
Olivia Colman and Mary Berry top Radio Times' female power list
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in September 2014
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain