UK Chancellor Promises Huge Tax Breaks For Devs
UK Chancellor George Osborne (his position is kind of like the US secretary of the treasury) may not be great at his job. Britain’s austerity program has actually hurt the economy and he and the Tory government refuse to change course no matter how bad things get. But it looks like he recognizes the increasingly important cultural and financial role gaming plays in national economies. In his Autumn statement, Osborne has discussed the creation of a truly enormous tax break for game developers that, as he accurately puts it, would be “among the most generous in the world.”
“Following consultation on their design, the government will ensure that the reliefs are among the most generous in the world by offering a payable tax credit for all three reliefs worth 25 per cent of qualifying expenditure,” he said in the statement.
These breaks would also include animation and television production, and would kick in April 13, 2013. Such companies would be able to “choose between an additional deduction at a rate of 100 per cent of enhanceable expenditure or a payable tax credit at a rate of 25 per cent of qualifying losses surrendered.” While I question the wisdom of a massive tax credit of this kind in the midst of a self-created recession (seriously, England’s stymied economy is currently more the result of Number 10 pulling tons of money out of the economy than the woes in the rest of Europe), it’s unquestionable that more gaming development would be good for the UK economy. While the industry doesn’t suffer from the same kind of pressure to outsource everything that other industries do, it’s still an interesting step toward shoring up the British gaming brand.
Obviously, your take on these breaks, as well as my politics, may vary wildly, so feel free to weigh in in the comments. And be sure to read the whole thing over on Games Industry.