Posts Tagged ‘tax’
In Alastair Darling’s 2010 budget he announced that he wanted to offer help to the computer games sector, similar to the steps which are helping to restore the fortunes of the British film industry, acknowledging that we need to find a way to keep British talent in this country.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the ‘Games Tax Relief Summit’ hosted by Deloitte and attended by a healthy mixture of some of the smaller studios and some of the heavy hitters in the games industry namely Sony, EA and Activision Blizzard.
It is with crossed fingers that we are all approaching George Osborne’s new budget on the 22nd June as we are hoping that the new government will honour the hard work of Richard Wilson and his colleagues at TIGA in raising awareness of the problems faced by the games industry in this country.
I was honoured to be invited to speak at the All Party Parliamentary Group earlier this year at the House Of Commons to help throw some light on the issues faced by start up games companies in the UK, and encourage MPs to act on our behalf. Issues such as gaining and retaining talent, the lack of funding available to smaller companies with no tangible assets and the quality of graduates and University courses in the gaming sector to name but a few.
At the Summit, all the representatives were offered the chance to input to the structure of the proposed games tax relief in order that it will suit all size of companies and all types of online and offline games. The relief was initially designed to steal elements of the film tax relief and the R&D tax credit system although it became apparent that both of these systems have their problems and shoe-horning this tax credit into one of those formats will simply not be effective enough.
The games sector contributed approximately £1 billion to the UK’s GDP in 2009 and generated £400 million for HM Treasury in tax revenues and is under stiff competition from the likes of Australia, Canada, China, France, South Korea, Singapore and the USA, all countries that receive regional/state tax breaks for games production or other significant financial assistance.
The generous tax credits in areas such as Quebec in Canada have created pockets of amazing gaming talent, Quebec is now considered to be a made up of ‘games clusters’, areas where the games industry is supported by government, educational institutions and other community services. I would love gaming to be treated the same way in the UK and for the same phenomena to occur here.
Fingers crossed for the new budget.