UK Film Industry Enjoys Tax Breaks

Last week was a good week for the British film industry, as the EU approved the extended tax breaks for the industry. The Chancellor George Osborne first announced the plans for tax breaks in the March Budget, and the EU approving the plans means that film production companies can claim tax relief of 25% for all qualifying productions.

This is welcome news to the industry, as previously they could claim 25% of the first £20mn of qualifying production and 20% for expenditure above this limit.

Osborne believes that the tax breaks will draw more blockbuster productions to the UK. They will also generate about £2bn in value of business for the UK.

The tax breaks will be backdated to apply from April 2015, meaning whilst some films will benefit, some will narrowly miss out, including recent British film successes such as Far From the Madding Crowd.

Previous tax breaks for the film industry have funded £8bn of production costs, including films such as Maleficent and Harry Potter.

I recently went on the ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ Studio Tour, which really showed how extensive detail is needed to produce a film. It allowed me to certainly understand why various skills are needed to create perfection on screen, and why there is such a demand for creative freelancers right now.

A scale model of the Hogwarts castle used to film the outdoor scenes of Hogwarts
A scale model of the Hogwarts castle used to film the outdoor scenes of Hogwarts

Osborne pointed out there are thousands of jobs available within the film industry, not simply just acting, but also film-making, costume design, set design and more, commenting that:

“All of those things are really brilliant jobs supported by this brilliant industry. It’s also a great advert for the country.”

Amanda Nevill, chief executive of UK film body the BFI, agrees as she said:

“The film tax relief is a key ingredient in the UK’s winning combination of outstanding film-making talent and crews, world-leading studios and facilities, and iconic locations.”

Osborne is certainly behind the creative industries, commenting that:

“A key part of our long term economic plan is supporting our creative industries that contribute billions to the economy and provide millions of jobs.”

Millions of jobs in the creative industries is great news for the self-employed, as the majority of jobs in the creative industries are as freelancers and contractors. Although creative freelancers absolutely love what they do, they often see the accountancy and admin work associated with freelancing as a pain. Luckily ICS can help with this, as we’ve been specialising in accountancy for creative freelancers since 2002. Call us on 0800 195 3750 or talk to us online to find out more.

Article written by ICS’s Marketing Assistant, Miranda Blake.