First, the Chancellor confirmed that the tax credits for High-End TV and Animations will be coming into force on 1 April 2013.
This follows a campaign of which Wiggin was the one of the chief architects. The last hurdle is State Aid approval for the TV/Animation regime.
It has not been given yet, but our understanding is that it is imminent and the Government appears confident that this approval will be provided prior to the 1 April commencement date. The same does not apply for the Video Game tax credit, where EU state aid approval is expected to take longer, so this will not come into force on 1 April 2013.
Second, the Government announced that:
- the Technology Strategy Board will design and launch a new competition of up to £15 million inviting consortia bids to support digital content production through partnerships with industry, including specialist SMEs, educational research facilities and training providers.
- funding for the Skills Investment Fund will be increased to £8 million each year over the next two years, with Government match-funding voluntary industry contributions to support skills development in the UK digital content sectors. This is even better news for the creative industries than had been anticipated, as the Government’s match-funding commitment has increased from the £6 million suggested in the Autumn Statement.
- the Government will launch a public consultation on options to provide further support for the visual effects industry through the tax system. We at Wiggin will be active in this consultation process and will send updates when further information is available. At this early stage, it appears that the Government is looking to address VFX industry concerns that the existing model of the film tax relief and the new tax reliefs do not sufficiently benefit their sector.