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Gaming Tax Breaks Delayed In Today's Budget

Jonathan Lester
Tax Breaks, UK

Gaming Tax Breaks Delayed In Today's Budget

I daresay that many of you have been following today's budget with considerable interest, but seeing as we're a gaming site, we'll ignore the wider discussion in order to focus on the ramifications for the UK games industry. Notably: that the long-promised tax breaks have been delayed yet again, but an extra £10 million will be invested into the creative entertainment sector.

Chancellor George Osborne once claimed that the tax relief for UK-based developers and publishers would be among the "most generous in the world," but it appears that the European Commission have taken issue with the test required to qualify. Osborne proposed that games and studios would have to prove their cultural worth in order to receive the benefits (as TV shows and movies currently do under the current system), yet the exact terms are still being quibbled over on the mainland.

UK trade body UKIE are still remaining positive for a successful resolution."We were prepared for this as it was always a possibility when establishing an entirely new European tax scheme, especially as games are so different to film and TV," UKIE boss Jo Twist explained in a recent statement. "We are confident of the government's commitment to implementing the tax breaks as soon as possible. But we hope that the delay will be a short one and shall now be doing everything that we can, working with UK government, the European Commission and TIGA, to get the state aid approval that we need as soon as possible. They absolutely will still happen."

In better news, the Chancellor announced that an extra £10 million will be injected into creative industries over the next 24 months.

Game tax relief was originally promised in order to attract developers and global publishers to set up shop in the UK, and to stop homegrown talent haemorraging to Canada, Korea and Stateside.

Add a comment 1 comment
Realhoneyman  Mar. 21, 2013 at 12:59

This isn't really a surprise. Governement unwilling to allow tax breaks for an industry experiencing continuous growth. Look at Canada's working example. The template is there to be followed. This is the reason that talented individuals do go abroad, get employed and enjoy successful careers working in the games industry with developers in countries that are supported well by their governments.

I also feel sad for the talent in the UK. Rocksteady Studios, Ninja Theory, Rockstar, Codemasters, SEGA's studios, Media Molecule to name a few high quality studios just need the support to create even more successful projects that appease gamers, business and the economy...

...Or Canada will continue to look even more attractive a destination.

Last edited by Realhoneyman, Mar. 21, 2013 at 13:00

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