With the UK’s studios already packed to the rafters, it’s a good thing that more soundstages are being built as the already lucrative film tax break is being increased. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne today announced that a previously mooted higher rate of relief has been given the go-ahead.
Under the new plans, the £1.4B film industry will receive a tax credit of 25% on all qualifying expenditure (under a cultural test) bringing it in line with the TV tax credit that has seen productions take to the UK in droves. Back in March, the government announced plans to up the credit. It was previously 25% for the first £20M of qualifying expenditure and 20% for spending above that threshold. The State Aid approval has just come through from the EU which means it can now move forward as planned.
The higher credit will be backdated to apply from April 2015, Osborne said while on a visit to the set of Agatha Raisin, a new British TV series being filmed in Wiltshire. “British-made films are watched and celebrated all over the world — last year alone we saw eight British-made films nominated for an Oscar,” Osborne noted. Those included The Theory Of Everything and The Imitation Game.
The tax credits have been a key driver of revenue to the British economy and have created “millions” of jobs, Osborne said. “We want to see more films, like Gravity and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, made in Britain and that’s why we’ve made our film tax relief even more generous.”
The credit has supported almost £8B of production expenditure since its introduction, including films such as Gravity, Maleficent and the Harry Potter franchise. In 2014, it supported 222 films.