Cut! End of 100% tax relief for UK filmmakers.

The Inland Revenue next July will strip British filmmakers of a 100% tax relief on production expenses despite heavy opposition from the UK movie industry.

The film-friendly tax break, which gives a full write-off of expenditure on films under a sale and leaseback arrangement, will be cut on 2 July 2002.

Top level pressure from Department of Culture, Media and Sport officials and the new Film Council failed to persuade Treasury officials to extend the scheme. A rush of films through production before the deadline is now anticipated. Harry Hicks, Baker Tilly partner and film industry specialist, asked: ‘What good is loudly promoting the UK film industry when its biggest enemy lurks with the Inland Revenue?’

Accountant and film entrepreneur Andrew Tate, whose Evolution Films is funding productions worth #94m, including Al’s Lads, said the scheme did not put in sufficient money.

A spokesman for the Inland Revenue said ministers had yet to decide whether to extend the scheme.

– For a profile on an accountant-turned movie mogul, see pages 22-23.

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