UK Screen Association is pressing the Treasury to lower the qualifying spend for the forthcoming high-end TV tax breaks, arguing that the current proposals could limit job growth in the post-production and VFX sectors.
In December, the Treasury published draft legislation for UK produced TV shows to secure a tax rebate of up to a quarter of 80% of their production budget.
To qualify, they will need to spend 25% of their budget in the UK, but the facilities trade body wants that figure cut to 10% to encourage more post-production work to be done in the UK.
It also warned that an 80% cap on qualifying costs for tax relief could encourage productions shooting in the UK to take the final 20% of their budget away from the UK to qualify for tax relief elsewhere.
“TV tax relief is a good thing, but VFX and post houses are disadvantaged by being at the end of the spending process. Both are areas where permanent jobs are created,” said UK Screen chief executive Sarah Mackey.
“By maintaining the 80% cap on enhanceable expenditure and the 25% floor for core expenditure in the UK, we are missing a chance to maximise the amount of post and VFX work carried out in the UK, and to increase job creation and skills development.”
Broadcast understands that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which has consulted with the TV industry and liaised with the Treasury, is unlikely to press for a lowering of the 25% threshold unless UK Screen can demonstrate that a 10% base would also help the wider creative sector.
With the 6 February deadline for changes to the legislation looming, UK Screen has less than four weeks to convince the Treasury to make the changes.