UK Developers to get tax relief

Written by Joe Martin

March 25, 2010 // 11:10 a.m.

Tags: #budget #darling #elspa #parliament #tax #tiga #uk-government

The UK Chancellor, Alistair Darling, has unveiled a new national budget that provides further support and incentives for UK-based game developers, including new tax relief.

The announcement comes after fierce lobbying from a number of groups, mainly TIGA, the UK's trade association for the games industry.

The new budget will offer financial incentives to developers that fit certain cultural criteria based on their location, size and output. Profitable developers will be able to pay less tax on their profits, encouraging growth within the UK. Struggling developers will meanwhile get assistance to reduce losses and help keep them afloat, provided they fit the criteria.

The new system is basically very similar to the support that the UK film industry currently receives and has been well-met by TIGA representatives who lobbied for the change.

"Games tax relief will increase employment, investment and innovation in the UK videogames sector," said TIGA boss Richard Wilson.

"Our research shows that games tax relief over a five year period should create or protect 3550 graduate level jobs, increase or safeguard £457 million in development expenditure and encourage developers to adopt new business models and create new intellectual property."

"Videogames are the Hollywood of the 21st century," added Wilson, who also points out that game development in the UK contributes £1 billion GBP to the UK's GDP.

"Our creative industries are a huge source of jobs, wealth and pride," said Chancellor Alistair Darling. "I will offer help to the computer games sector similar to the steps which are helping to restore the fortunes of the British film industry.

"This is a highly successful, growing industry, with half its sales coming from exports and we need to keep British talent in this country."

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