Tax reform forces film production down
UK film production fell by 40% last year, with government reform of tax schemes designed to aid the industry blamed for the downturn.
Figures released today show that only 27 UK films began shooting in 2004 against 45 the previous year.
The government has been heavily criticised for cracking down on the so-called of abuse of schemes known as section 42 and 48. The last reform came during the chancellor’s pre-Budget report, which took steps to halt ‘double dipping’, or the use of the schemes to win tax advantages twice on the same production.
Despite the figures, produced by Screen International magazine, the British Film Council said the downturn was expected because 2003 had been such a bumper year.
Section 48, designed to provide tax relief on films budgeted at under £15m, is due to expire this year and be replaced by an as yet undisclosed tax credit.