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UK Government Heralds Success Of New Film Tax Relief

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

31 October 2008


New figures showing the success of the UK government's film tax relief were published today by Financial Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms.

The figures, which are the first to be published since the scheme began in January 2007, show that GBP104 million in tax relief has been provided to support the production of around 100 new UK films.

Film tax relief is designed to promote the production of culturally British films. For a film to be eligible it must qualify as 'British' - either by passing the new cultural test or under an agreed co-production treaty - and incur at least 25% of the total production expenditure in the UK.

The figures show that 110 claims received tax relief to the end of March 2008 totalling GBP104 million, and covering around 100 new films. Overall 155 claims have been made over this time, for a total of GBP126 million, although a number of the claims are more recent and therefore still being processed.

Stephen Timms said: "These figures reinforce the role film tax relief is playing in strengthening the British film industry and encouraging the production of high quality home-grown films. This is a dynamic industry that has continued to be resilient in the face of difficult economic times. The UK's share of the global theatrical market was USD3.3 billion in 2007, with the top 10 performing UK films worldwide grossing around USD2.5 million, up 26% on the previous year."

Culture Minister Barbara Follett added: "The importance of film tax relief in supporting one of our most successful and culturally important creative industries should not be underestimated. UK-made films provide entertainment, employment and a cultural commentary that I think is vital and the tax relief scheme is an indication of just how committed the government is to this vibrant and diverse sector."


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