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TIGA submits Games Tax Relief report to UK government, claims it could generate £283 million

Stresses urgent need for a level playing field
TIGA submits Games Tax Relief report to UK government, claims it could generate £283 million

With the UK budget due in March, games industry trade association TIGA has presented detailed evidence to HM Treasury and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport for the implementation of a new Games Tax Relief.

Its report, 'A Video Games Tax Relief: An Incentive to Build a Sustainable Video Games Development Sector', proposes tax relief for developers and start-ups in the UK working on projects which pass a 'cultural test'.

Game developers in Canada, France, and the USA, among others, already receive tax breaks.

TIGA claims that its proposals would 'even the playing field', making the UK more attractive to developers and encouraging start-ups.

Eye of the TIGA

The system would work by enabling developers to reduce the amount of tax payable on profitable games, while obtaining a cash tax credit if games made a loss.

According to TIGA's predictions, over five years, it would generate and/or safeguard 4,661 direct and indirect jobs and increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £283 million.

It also predicts the scheme would cost £96 million, while generating £172 million in new and protected tax receipts.

Gimme shelter

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said that the proposals outlined in the report, "will generate employment and investment in the UK video games sector and so contribute to economic growth and to the rebalancing of our economy away from an over-dependence on financial services."

Employment in the UK games development sector has declined by over 10 percent since 2008.

Conversely, the Canadian games industry’s workforce grew by 33 percent between 2008 and 2010.

Neon Play's CEO Oli Christie, who spoke to us last November about the need for tax relief and funding for start-ups, said, "At Neon Play, we make mobile games and we export to over 120 countries with only 23 percent of our sales coming from the UK.

"Yet the international app market is becoming more and more competitive and in order for us to compete on a level playing field, we need the government to listen very, very carefully to what TIGA is proposing."

[source: TIGA]