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U.K. confirms details of TV tax credits

Rebate for high-end dramas worth up to 25%

LONDON

The U.K. government has unveiled details of its tax credits for high-budget TV drama, laffers, docus, toonpics and vidgames, which will come into force in April.

To qualify, projects must be budgeted in excess of £1 million ($1.6 million) an hour or more than £500,000 ($800,000) for 30 minutes.

TV projects, toons and vidgames will be able to secure a rebate of up to 25% of 80% of their production budget, provided they are made in Blighty.

The move is intended to encourage more fare to be created or shot in the U.K., and to prevent shows going overseas to take advantage of local tax breaks.

The government said the new rules were designed to “ensure they are among the most generous in the world,” and are similar to existing film tax credits.

Producers welcomed the new rules. Andy Harries, CEO of Sony Pictures Television-owned Left Bank Pictures, said: “This TV production incentive is critical to ensure that our industry continues to grow in the U.K.

Left Bank Pictures shot two productions in South Africa this year — ‘Mad Dogs’ and ‘Strike Back’ — because the tax breaks made it a highly competitive destination.

“We have many other large-scale projects in development and this incentive will allow us to make them in the U.K. whilst supporting the U.K.’s creative community.”

Stephen Bristow, head of business development at U.K. accountants Saffery Champness, added: “The government has lived up to the promise of delivering an incentive for high-end television that is among the most generous in the world.

“The U.K.’s world-class facilities, cast and crew coupled now with competitive tax relief will provide program-makers with a compelling case to shoot in the U.K.”

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