Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tax Breaks for UK Animation

Wallace and Gromit would be proud. Copyright Aardman Animation
Chancellor George Osbourne's budget speech yesterday may not have inspired many to believe in Britain's general economic recovery, but it surely gladdened the hearts of animators across the land that his government is committed to some serious tax breaks for the animation and visual effects industry in the UK.

Osbourne didn't spend long on this; it's just a small part of the bigger economic picture, but he did say that tax relief would play a large part in keeping our "world-class visual effects sector" competitive and energetic.

Of course, the devil is always in the detail and we do not have specific numbers yet, but details should be known soon and the relief - aimed at high-end TV series in the £1.5m range - will apply from April 1st, the start of the tax year in Britain.

The idea is to encourage new production and to stop "runaway production" from fleeing to overseas  tax havens.

And this is not all. The games industry will soon be set to benefit as well. "Video games tax relief will be introduced following state aids approval", which to say we will have to wait for Brussels to give it the thumbs up.

Overall the new rules represent a 25 percent tax break on qualifying U.K. expenditure.

According to Adrian Wootton, CEO of the British Film Commission and Film London said: "On behalf of the British Film Commission (BFC) we are delighted that, in addition to the incoming creative sector tax relief, the Chancellor has today announced further support for the U.K.’s creative sectors, and in particular the VFX industry."

Wootton added that these new tax breaks "will ensure that we can continue to compete globally on a level playing field; and continue to attract the biggest and most technically challenging film and television projects to the UK."

Wallace and Gromit would no doubt agree.


(Editor's Note: You can also read about the day George Osborne called Alex a Luddite, here)

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