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No Tax Relief for UK Gaming 'For 4 Years'

by Jason Gorringe,, London

08 December 2010

Despite intense lobbying by TIGA, the UK’s trade body for the games industry, the Government says that it will not receive any tax breaks for “three or four years.”

The setback came in answers to the government’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, where Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries said that if the industry continued to make tax relief the focus of its lobbying activity, it “could mean a hiatus for three or four years [or more] before it realistically comes back onto the table."

The announcement leaves TIGA frustrated at the diminishing headcount in the industry. Its own research suggests that it has dropped 9%, while in Canada, the numbers have increased by 33%.

Tom Watson MP, a longstanding gaming advocate, said:

”There have been significant achievements in the gaming industry. Video games are now seen as a force for good, not evil. Moral panic had broken out, but this myth has been dispelled. Without tax relief, the industry will see a 10% reduction in jobs, as developers consider countries offering tax relief, such as Canada.”

Accountants Grant Thornton, who have helped TIGA to build its case for tax relief said, according to Digital Spy, that: "We are in a global business and we need to think in a global way. We have to respond to the fact that people will move. We need to have a really competitive marketplace in the UK and we are working with TIGA to get clarity on the tax regime. What we actually need to know is what's going to happen in the next five years, and not have a guessing game. Business doesn't plan for the next six months, it plans for the next few years. We will continue to work to put forward clear and transparent proposals that will help this industry to create jobs in the UK."

TAGS: tax | business | tax incentives | corporation tax | United Kingdom | tax breaks

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