1 October 2012 – London, United Kingdom – Games and interactive entertainment trade body Ukie has today urged the games industry to give their input in to a consultation that will be an important step to getting European clearance for the UK’s video games production tax relief scheme.
Following an earlier consultation (concluded last month) that gathered input into how the production tax relief process would work for UK games companies, the State Aid Consultation published today (and found here) asks for industry input into a Cultural Test that games will be required to pass before becoming eligible for UK production tax relief. Ukie also met with Tiga during this process to collaborate and agree on a common definition for “games” that would qualify for relief.
The Cultural Test will be points based and will ask questions such as whether the game contains British and European cultural elements and whether it has British or European talent in lead roles of the production and for technical innovation.
Ukie have also announced that they will be giving the industry, including non-Ukie members, multiple ways of helping to shape the questions:
- Games businesses can fill out an online questionnaire found here
- They can also send input on the cultural test to [email protected] or search for Ukie on Facebook
- Ukie will hold seminars at its offices to find out more about the proposals and give businesses the chance to give feedback. Seminar dates are on the afternoons of 16 and 23 of October. You can book a place at one of these seminars at [email protected]
Under European law, countries cannot introduce tax incentives that give advantages to them over other member states. But the European Commission accepts that countries should be free to support and protect their own particular culture and so does allow tax incentives that add to the cultural output of a country. This is how existing film and games tax credits are currently allowed and this is why the UK system similarly needs to prove that games are cultural products.
Ukie CEO, Dr Jo Twist said “The need to qualify as a cultural product is necessary if we want to get an efficient UK tax production credit scheme working as quickly as possible – and that is the ultimate goal. These questions and this crucial test are so important to get right, so that we can make the UK the best place to make games and interactive entertainment.”
“It is vital that UK games businesses respond to this consultation. We shall be making sure that everyone has the chance to have their say. So whether you’re a Ukie member or not, please sign up for one of our sessions or send us your comments on the cultural test to [email protected], search for Ukie on Facebook and fill out the survey.”
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