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UKIE still confident of EC decision despite no Budget announcement on tax reliefs

Wednesday, 19th March 2014 17:29 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

George Osborne, MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury of the United Kingdom, didn’t include announcement of a games production tax credit in his latest budget, which UKIE said is “very frustrating” of UK developers.

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According to UKIE CEO Jo Twist, the trade body is confident its case is “strong” and that it will receive word from the European Commission soon.

“The ongoing delay to the UK games tax relief scheme has been very frustrating for UK developers,” said Twist in a statement. “Whilst there was not any announcement about the European Commission’s decision in this year’s budget, we continue to be confident that our case is strong and that we will receive word from the EC soon.

“We know that the Treasury and other UK government departments have worked hard to convince Europe of the case for UK Games Tax Relief, and we will continue to do everything we can to help push tax relief over the finishing line and get this vital scheme in place for UK developers as soon as possible”.

While a small change was made in the Budget regarding the proposed tax relief, it still requires final approval from the EC (per GI.biz):

“Corporation tax: video games tax relief and high-end television tax relief – The government will extend video games tax relief to goods and services provided from within the European Economic Area and apply a cap on subcontracting of £1 million per game, subject to state aid clearance. The legislation will also be clarified so that only those games and television programmes qualifying for relief will be treated as separate trades.”

Twist was pleased some of the changes, such as the £20 million over 2 years regulated to support degree-level apprenticeships, and a three year extension on “Enterprise Zone discounts on business rates and Enhanced Capital Allowances.”

“Many of these new announcements are welcome steps which should help further cement the position of the UK as the best place in the world to make and sell games,” said Tiwst. ” Helping SMEs to grow more quickly is particularly crucial, and the announcements on SEIS and export support should have a good impact in this regard.

“However, it is Games Tax Relief which will have a real impact in unlocking our sector’s cultural and economic potential, as the government recognized when introducing the scheme. It is vital that we get it in place as soon as possible”.

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