Trade bodies pleased with tax relief plans

Trade bodies pleased with tax relief plans
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

December 11th 2012 at 2:20PM

UKIE calls for industry input to guide response on government consultation

Trade bodies in the UK are largely pleased by how the Government’s proposed tax relief plan will work.

In the UK Government’s proposal there will be no minimum spend threshold. It also outlined the test that would determine the eligibility of UK-developed video games.

UKIE is pleased that the Government appears to have listened to many of the industry recommendations has made since the consultation process. It will be working hard in the UK and at a European level to ensure that the Cultural Test operates as effectively as possible for British games businesses.

“We’re pleased that an initial look at the draft legislation seems to be another positive step for our members and the wider industry, helping us to keep the UK as a leading creative force for games on the global stage,” said UKIE CEO Jo Twist.

“It is however vital that we properly scrutinise every detail of the legislation to make sure that the final scheme is in line with the needs of our industry. We need all games businesses to feed-back their thoughts over the next three months so that we can ensure that we have the best possible system operating for all UK games businesses. As before we’ll be reaching out to TIGA to make sure that there is a single message to government and we’ll be holding open sessions in January to discuss the draft proposal – all games businesses are welcome to join us.

“We are also planning a major campaign next year to educate and offer practical support for all the UK games companies that want to benefit from the system once it’s in place so we can once again lead the world in games production.”

In it’s consultation, UKIE highlighted the importance of legislation that will support the changing structure of the UK games business. It says that Government seems to have recognised that it is vital to encourage growth from small independent studios, existing bigger studios and also attract inward investment from multi-national companies.

Further to this, the trade body was also pleased that the Government has recognised the new business models and ways of making games which stretch beyond their initial release. The trade body believes that being able to claim for production costs incurred from DLC or ongoing, post-launch costs will give the UK a big competitive advantage over many other countries.

TIGA shows more enthusiasm for the proposals, particularly the Government’s choice to no minimum spend threshold, which it says will allow the UK’s evolving games business to sustain itself under different models.

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson said: “This is excellent news for the video games industry. The Government has listened to our proposals and adopted the vast majority of our suggestions for the design of Games Tax Relief. TIGA is particularly pleased that there is no minimum spend threshold: this will enable start-up studios and small development businesses with smaller budget games to benefit from Games Tax Relief.

“Additionally, it is excellent that the Government has agreed to allow post-release development expenditure including QA costs to be eligible for Games Tax Relief. One of TIGA’s key priorities has been to ensure that the new Games Tax Relief supports the ‘games as a service’ business model. The Government agrees. This is a good day for the UK games industry.”

Games businesses can sign up for the UKIE Tax breaks roundtable to be held in January at consultations@ukie.org.uk