UK Producers Call for Tax Credit Revision
PACT wants credits to cover cost of shooting abroad
British producers have called for the U.K. government to widen its definition of expenditure that qualifies for the new film tax credit, to include the cost of British films shooting abroad.
As currently drafted, the tax relief, worth 20% for movies under $38 million and 16% for bigger films, is restricted to money spent within the U.K.
That means that the salary of a Hollywood star shooting a big-budget studio movie at Pinewood will qualify for the rebate, but a U.K. cast and crew shooting a movie in Africa for a British production company would not.
PACT, the org that represents producers, welcomed the news that the European Commission has finally approved the tax credit. But it said that other European countries have received approval for tax incentives with a wider definition of national expenditure to include movies shot abroad.
The EC has imposed major changes on the cultural test that underpins the tax credit, to ensure that the benefit goes only to genuinely British films.
The revised test gives far more points for British content and "cultural contribution." But the number of points for using British facilities - studios, special effects, post-production, music etc. - have been drastically reduced.
This updated legislation will now go back to the U.K. parliament for formal reapproval in the new few weeks, and is expected to come into force from Jan. 1.
Article in full in VARIETY