If you have a child who works as an actor in the state of California, New York, Louisiana or New Mexico, you are required to set up a “Coogan Account.” A Coogan Account, is simply a trust account set up through a bank, into which the employer of the minor will directly deposit 15% of the child’s gross earnings. Once the account has been established, the parent must provide each employer with the account information for each job the child secures. The parent may be a trustee on the account, but withdrawals cannot be made on the account until the minor reaches the age of eighteen.
The Coogan Account got its name from actor Jackie Coogan, who was a child actor probably best known for his adult role as “Uncle Fester,” in The Addams Family television series. Coogan’s parents purportedly spent all of his childhood earnings on a lavish lifestyle. Coogan later sued his parents, and the legal battle brought the issue to the attention of the industry. As a result, The California Child Actor’s Bill was enacted, but it is often referred to as the Coogan Act.
If you need to set up a Coogan Account for your child, please note that not all banking institutions provide this service or are familiar with the Coogan. Do some research before hand to determine which institutions will be able to help you with setting up your child’s Coogan Account.
For more detailed information, check here: http://www.sagaftra.org/content/coogan-law