First High-End TV and Animation Tax Relief Certificates Issued

Posted on 19 August 2013

The BFI’s Certification Unit, on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has now begun issuing full certificates for Animation and High End Television projects, with a number of animation programmes and High End television series receiving them this week. This includes high-end TV dramas Death Comes to Pemberley and By Any Means. The certificates are the gateway to accessing the UK’s competitive new tax reliefs, which support Britain’s creative industries and help to attract inward investment to the UK.

Amongst the first projects to receive certificates are:

Animated Programmes

  • Famous Flying Films and Mackninnon & Saunders’ stop motion comedy series for CBeebies, Calamity Island
  • Karrot Entertainment’s CBeebies series, Sarah and Duck

High End Television

  • Red Planet Pictures ‘ six-part crime drama for BBC One, By Any Means
  • Origin Pictures’ three-part series for BBC One, Death Comes to Pemberley
  • Mammoth Screen’s three-part mystery for BBC One, Remember Me

Alex Jones, Production Executive at Red Planet Pictures, said: “TV producers are keen to create shows that can compete in the international market and rival films in terms of production values, talent and storytelling. The tax credits are an important step towards helping ambitious independent production companies like Red Planet close the finance on projects here in Britain without having to leave the country to save money. The BFI have been instrumental in helping us access the high end tax credits for our latest production, By Any Means, enabling us to deliver a show we are immensely proud of.”

Anna Mansi, Head of the BFI Certification Unit comments: “It’s been fantastic to see the first certificates issued this week for a host of exciting new UK projects. We want to let producers working across animation and high end television to know the UK is open for business and the BFI’s highly expert team is ready and waiting to take your call.”

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke said: “The UK’s creative industries are leading the world in TV and animation production, and the Government wants to provide the support necessary to maintain this position. These tax reliefs will allow further technological innovation in these creative sectors so that their work continues to contribute to economic growth and British culture.”

Creative Industries Minister, Ed Vaizey said: “I’m delighted that the first certificates have been issued for culturally British high-end television and animation programmes. This is another landmark in the Government’s continued commitment to supporting the creative industries, a sector that continues to make an important contribution to economic growth and help bolster our position in the global race.”

All legislation procedures for the animation and high-end television tax reliefs are now complete and certificates are now being issued to applicants for projects which qualify as British under either the appropriate cultural test or as an official television co-production under one of the UK’s co-production treaties which allow television. Following receipt of the certificate, applicants can apply for tax relief on production spend incurred since 1 April 2013.

The BFI Certification Unit has been taking in draft applications since 1 April 2013 and, while the legislation process was pending, issuing comfort letters to projects which required assurance they would qualify as British or needed the letter for financing purposes. The BFI has issued over 30 letters to high-end television and animation applicants which can now be exchanged for their certificate on receipt of a completed statutory declaration. In addition to those named today, the BFI expects to issue many new certificates in the coming weeks as further statutory declarations are submitted.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) policy advisers are finalising their guidance for the new reliefs in consultation with industry working groups and these will be published on their website shortly. The HMRC Manchester team who process the film tax reliefs have expanded to become the Manchester Creative Sector Unit and are ready for the new projects.

The BFI also noted the importance of the panels and presentations that have taken place across the UK to promote the new reliefs and highlighted the events jointly run by the Production Guild and the British Film Commission. The nationwide series of seminars took place in London, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh and at Pinewood Studios, with the generous support of key partners and contributors including Production Guild business partners Creative England and Pinewood Studios Group, Production Guild affiliates Creative Scotland, Wales Screen Commission, Saffery Champness, Wiggin LLP and Coutts, alongside Creative Skillset.

The TV tax relief seminar which took place at Pinewood Studios was filmed in its entirety and will be made publicly available on the PG website in the coming months.

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