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Osborne Increases Tax Breaks for UK Films



Osborne Feels Lucky

Osborne Feels Lucky

It was confirmed recently by UK Chancellor George Osborne that UK productions would benefit from further tax breaks starting April 2014.

Currently only smaller budget films can significantly gain from the tax incentives, with those on £20 million or less eligible to claim 25% back, while productions exceeding this could only claim 20%,

In his revised plans the first £20 million gets a 25% rebate, with 20% thereafter, irrespective of total budget, but providing films satisfy the qualifying conditions. Osborne has even made this more accommodating by reducing the required UK expenditure from 25% to just 10%.

Though this is a welcome move from bigger studios looking to film in the UK, and even international co-productions between smaller studios, it is of no real impact to the filmmakers and companies who really need the help to get their films out there.

In 2011 the Conservatives scrapped the UK Film Council – an organisation established in 2000 to help fund and promote independent UK films. So they can introduce all the tax breaks they like, but in the eyes of all those aspiring filmmakers struggling to get their careers off the ground this is an empty gesture. It only helps bigger budget films, and it still provides no real support to low-budget filmmakers from the UK.

The tax breaks will benefit already established studios in the UK and abroad, and actively encourages them to spend money making their movies in Britain. You can argue this filters down throughout the film industry and eventually impacts the budding directors and aspiring actors, as more productions mean more work experience opportunities.

Let me clarify: this is a good thing. It will help, but there is still a fundamental lack of investment and direct support for new filmmakers.


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