Chancellor confirms boost for UK film tax relief

20 March 2014

Enhancements to the UK’s Film Tax relief were confirmed yesterday by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in his Budget speech.

The enhancements, which will take effect from 1 April, will mean further benefits for filmmakers choosing to shoot in the UK. The key changes are:

  • Film Tax Relief will be available at 25% on the first £20 million of qualifying production expenditure and 20% thereafter, for small and large budget films
  • The minimum UK expenditure will be lowered from 25% to 10%, encouraging further investment in the UK’s film industry and facilitating a greater number of co-productions
  • The cultural test will be expanded to include European as well as British Culture, in line with other creative content tax reliefs, and will also include an increase in the points available for principal photography/special effects/ visual effects and English language.

First proposed in December’s Autumn Statement, these changes have now received State Aid Approval.
The British Film Commission welcomed today’s announcements, which will help the UK’s already booming film industry continue to thrive. Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said:

“The BFC co-ordinated an industry response to the Government consultation on the enhancements to the Tax Relief so we are thrilled that they will be implemented from 1 April. These changes will make the UK’s world-class production industries even more attractive and accessible to international and British filmmakers and further build on and expand the UK’s business prospects.

“Importantly it will allow the UK’s world-class VFX and post production sectors to remain competitive and the BFC will be hosting a group of senior US executives next month to capitalise on the new opportunities. It’s also important to note the hugely positive impact of the tax relief changes on the UK’s international co-production prospects, opening up opportunities with a wide range of international territories.”

The Film Tax Relief has helped in establishing the UK as a global hub for major film production, a trend that looks set to continue with Star Wars: Episode VII (LucasFilm) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel) amongst several major titles shooting in the UK in 2014.