Wednesday 19 March 2014

The British Film Commission welcomes today’s announcement by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, that enhancements to the UK’s Film Tax Relief have received State Aid Approval. The changes, which were included in the Chancellor’s Budget speech, will take effect from 1 April.

Iain Smith, British Film Commission Chairman and film and television producer, said of today’s announcement: “The British Film Industry continues to demonstrate its value both in terms of job creation, international investment and creative and technical expertise, as demonstrated by British successes as this year’s Academy Awards and BAFTAs. We are delighted by this further recognition of the value of the Creative industries to the British Government.”

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, added: “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.”

A summary of the changes:

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. This will make the Film Tax Relief easier to use and more attractive, as well as eradicate the ‘cliff edge’ between the 20% and 25% schemes

The minimum UK expenditure requirement will be reduced from 25% to 10% to encourage further investment in the UK and benefit visual effects and wider industry, helping UK independent production companies by encouraging minority co-productions where the UK spend is less than 25%.

The cultural test will be modernised. It will be expanded to allow for European as well as British Culture, in line with other creative content tax reliefs. The test will also include an increase in the points available for principal photography/ special effects/ visual effects and English language.

The first two changes will be made through the Finance Bill 2014, which is likely to receive Royal Assent towards the end of July. Changes to the cultural test will be made through secondary legislation, laid after Royal Assent and likely to be in force in the Autumn. Claims for tax relief can then be submitted to HMRC, and backdated to 1 April.

In anticipation of today’s announcement, the BFC is hosting a number of events to promote the enhanced tax relief, the first of which take place in Los Angeles next week.


For further press information, please contact:

Colette Geraghty, Senior Press & Communication Manager

T: +44 (0) 20 7613 7680

M: +44 (0) 7917 437 699


Notes to Editors

About the British Film Commission

The British Film Commission (BFC) is the national body responsible for maximizing and supporting the production of international feature films and high-end TV in the UK. With offices in the UK and the US, the BFC provides free professional advice to help make productions in the UK a reality.

The BFC has commercial sponsors, who form the membership of the agency’s innovative public/private partnership: Disney, Double Negative, Framestore, Harbottle & Lewis, MPC, Pinewood Studios Group, Saffery Champness, Warner Bros. UK and its UK-based film production operations, Working Title Films, Elstree Studios and Coutts.

The British Film Commission is managed by Film London through a public/private partnership funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through the BFI, it also receives funding from UK Trade and Investment.