The Treasury is poised to publish draft legislation on tax breaks for high-end television and animation next week after it was announced that qualifying productions will receive a 25% rebate.
It is expected that that the measures, detailed in chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, will work in a similar way to the film tax credits, meaning that eligible programmes can receive a cash rebate of up to a quarter of their overall production budget.
A £1m-an-episode threshold has been widely discussed, but the Treasury has not yet revealed how big a budget a production will need to qualify for tax relief.
The figure is likely to be disclosed in draft legislation on 11 December. It will then be consulted on, and put into the Finance Act, which will come into effect in April 2013.
The Treasury will also publish on Tuesday the responses to the consultation on tax breaks - launched after the 2012 Budget in June - as well as its own recommendations for the framework of the scheme.
Pact chief executive John McVay said the 25% rebate was a “very good number” and was in line with what the industry was lobbying for. “We’re really pleased the government has listened carefully to the industry,” he added.
The news was also welcomed by Stephen Bristow, head of business development at accountancy firm Saffery Champness - and co-author of a report outlining the economic argument for drama tax breaks - who said it was the “higher end” of the two relief rates proposed.
Separately, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is nailing down cultural definitions of British productions or co-productions. This work is crucial to securing European Commission state aid approval.
Points are likely to be awarded for cultural content, cultural contribution, cultural hubs and cultural practitioners, according to the proposed model which is largely based on UK film tax relief. Productions will have to gain 16 marks out of a maximum of 31 by meeting different criteria within the different areas.