TV & Film Tax Relief – the bigger picture

While Star Wars & Bond fans eagerly awaiting the new instalments, UK producers are looking forward to the releases for reasons of their own: it will free up acres of studio space at Pinewood & put hundreds of technical staff back on the market.
The skills shortage is one of the unintended consequences of the tax breaks for UK high-end TV drama and film productions. These breaks have helped attract bigger productions with the knock-on effect of constraining the supply of services, crew and locations which of course should be regarded as a ‘good problem’ as it reflects a rising demand to film in the UK.
Certainly, the big picture on tax break is that they have been a huge benefit to both the production business and the UK economy as a whole.

Prior to the introduction of tax breaks, the UK was missing out on productions to countries with their own tax relief schemes.
The tax breaks have supported the existing appeal of certain regions of the UK such as Northern Ireland which also offer soft-money incentives such as subsidised hotel rooms.
The shooting of the first four series of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland generated a spend of nearly £90m on goods & services and employed over 550 crew members.
Game of Thrones is one of the most high profile dramas to benefit from the high-end drama tax relief which offers 20% relief for shows costing £1m or more per hour, so £1m per hour spent gives back £200,000 to the production.

In some cases, tax breaks alone are not enough to ensure productions stay in the UK due to still being a very expensive place to shoot in. Hungary & Romania are popular locations due to the fact they are alot less expensive to film in than the UK but also have attractive tax breaks and skilled but cheap labour pools.

All in all, its good news.. According to the British Film Institute (BFI), the UK Government spend on Creative Industries Tax relief has generated more than eight-fold return with every £1 spent, tax relief returned £8.31 to the UK economy. The UK is now seen as a centre of excellence for writers, producers, facilities and talent, with great incentives.

To check out how Nyman Libson Paul can help you qualify for Creative Industries Tax Relief, click here.