Timing for U.K. Film Credits is Just in Time for Return of 24
May 07, 2014
By Evan R. Waxman, CPA, MST, PFS
With a host of new cast members, story lines, and a re-formatted program, tremendous hype surrounds Fox’s Emmy-winning action thriller 24 and its production in the United Kingdom. Kiefer Sutherland reprises his role as Jack Bauer to prevent a global disaster on European soil. Notably for those of us in the tax and finance worlds, Jack’s return is perfectly timed to take advantage of a U.K. film tax relief program.
The British government has approved enhancements to the U.K. film-tax-relief program which took effect on April 1. Key changes included lower minimum film budgets and a reduction of the minimum U.K. spending requirement from 25% to 10%. The tax break is worth 25% on the first $32.7 million (£20 million) of qualified spending and is 20% on all additional spending. The potential for a flat 25% credit is currently being discussed to accommodate larger budget productions for 2015. Additional changes intended to stimulate the U.K. film industry make it easier for filming production to pass the cultural test, the necessary step to determine the amount of incentives that a film or TV production is entitled to receive.
Given the high costs to produce a full season of 24, the “U.K. film/tax relief” provides much needed financial flexibility for the show’s executive brass.