Excellent news for the UK film industry (and our potential international partners): UK Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement announced ‘modernising’ the film tax credit, boosting the VFX sector and allocating £5m for the National Film and Television Schools’ digital village.
Enticing benefits of filming in the UK are planned to be further enhanced by changes to the UK Film Tax Relief, as listed below:
- relief available at 25% on the first £20 million of qualifying production expenditure and 20% thereafter, for small and large budget films (subject to state aid clearance). This will make the Film Tax Relief easier to use and more attractive, as well as eradicate the current ‘cliff edge’ between the 20% and 25% schemes;
- reduce the minimum UK expenditure requirement from 25% to 10% to encourage further investment in the UK, benefit visual effects and the wider industry, support UK independent production and encourage minority co-productions where the UK spend is less than 25%;
- changes to the cultural test – which will be expanded to allow for European as well as British Culture, in line with other creative industry tax reliefs. The test will become a 35 point test with a pass mark of 18 and will include an increase in the points available for principal photography/ special effects/ visual effects and English language.
Senior figures in the UK film industry have welcomed the new measures, calling it ‘wonderful news.’
British Film Comission CEO, Adrian Wootton: “The tax relief was a game changer when introduced in 2007 and today’s announcement ensures we can continue to grow our industry, boosting the UK economy and creating British jobs; it will also encourage the production of more culturally British projects,” added.
BFI CEO, Amanda: “Having just come back from China, which is one of the most exciting new markets for film in the world, it’s fantastic that the Chancellor is doing so much to ensure UK film is positioned in the strongest possible way.”
Pinewood Studios chief executive Ivan Dunleavey: “The government continues to demonstrate its clear, consistent and ongoing support for this important industry and these new measures will build on the current successful system of film fiscal incentives which create real value for the UK.”
It’s planned that the tax changes will be introduced from April 2014, subject to state aid approval, and legislated at Finance Bill 2014.