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25/09/2009

British Filmmakers Enjoy Epic Tax Relief

Tax breaks for moviemakers continue to script success in the cinematographic industry.
Last year, filmmakers got £100m support from a UK Government fund.
According to the last figures published by Treasury, this tax relief - which was introduced two years ago - provided for the production of over 170 UK films.
This equates to an important production increase when compared with other years.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms, said: "The Government is committed to supporting the British film industry and the important role it plays in our economy," and added that tax relief "would continue to provide valuable assistance to this vibrant sector over the coming years".
To qualify for this relief, a film must fulfil some criteria.
For example, it must qualify as 'British' by passing a cultural test from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport or through an agreed co-production treaty.
It is also necessary that at least 25% of the total production spending is done in the UK.
Minister for the Creative Industries, Siôn Simon, stated: "The UK has been responsible for some tremendously successful films in the past year, both artistically and at the box office."
She considered that tax relief has been the key to this success: "Without it, a lot of these hits would be never produced," she continued.
"Our thriving film industry creates jobs, attracts overseas investment, brings tourists to the UK and contributes a huge amount to our cultural heritage, so film tax relief is an investment that is repaid many times over."
The statistics also reflect well on HM Revenue & Custom's dedicated Film Tax Credit Unit, which handles claims for the relief.
In 2008, over 95% of payments were made within six months of the claim being received.
It was therefore a very useful support mechanism for the UK film industry, which will then be better able to recover quickly after the current downturn.
Tax relief is very helpful to British production and post-production facilities and helps considerably to keep them ahead of US-based film productions, but it does not help British independent filmmakers whose problems are in attracting investment.
(CL/BMcc)
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