Tiga renews calls for UK tax breaks

Games developers' trade association wants government to compare tax policies with G20 countries.

The UK and EU games developers' trade association, Tiga, is calling on the government to compare the UK tax system, and its tax incentives, to that of the other G20 countries, all of whom yesterday completed talks on how best to kick-start the world's receding economies.

Tiga CEO Richard Wilson believes that the UK should be using the G20 as a way to compare tax policies, especially those for the games industry, in order to keep them competitive. "If the Government is serious about supporting innovation in businesses then it must measure the effectiveness of tax incentives, such as the tax credit, that are available to the video games industry in the UK compared to those of other countries. The UK tax system does not operate in a vacuum," he said.

This isn't the first time the UK tax system has been highlighted as an issue for the games industry. In 2007, Canada introduced a wave of credits and tax breaks for games companies looking to set up base there, with several high-profile companies, including EA, Ubisoft, and Capcom, taking advantage of the offer. The wave of companies moving to Canada caused the UK to fall from the third largest to the fourth largest producer of video games with reports that it may slip to fifth in 2009.

The lucrative tax deals on offer in Canada caused uproar by British and Australian developers who demanded that similar measures be introduced, before joining forces themselves to lobby for tax breaks on their home turf. Though Australia was not successful with a bid to extend a 40 percent investment from the film industry to the games industry, developers in France gave others in the EU hope when they secured EC approval for tax incentives on home-grown games.

While many analysts have often described the games industry as recession proof, massive losses, staff culling, and even bankruptcies have dented the confidence of many in the industry, despite overall strong sales and growth. These issues, combined with reports that also indicate that the recession may stifle innovation in the industry, could put pressure on governments to look into new tax breaks for games companies as part of larger stimulus packages.

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4 comments
Lyca
Lyca

Supporting the British games industry is very important! if Tiga have got together and are asking for the government to do something then I back them completely. The government has bailed out every other half arsed company why not help one of our most important future industries? @xataman why the hell are you bashing the NHS in a games forum!!! Dont you realise most of the people that come to our country to live come for that reason alone, put yourself in someone elses shoes before you diss everything, we know its not perfect but its still better than nothing!

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

we pay hi tax rates here in the uk however at least the price we see on the shelf is the price we pay that sillyness off adding the tax on after the do in the states is anoying and would piss me off if i lived there having said that i do love florida it is very nice there.

xatman911
xatman911

UK is tax hell. They say they are justifying high taxes but that is just trash talk. NHS service takes very long time and its very overcrowded. For some one who is lucky to fall ill just a couple of times a year it is very inconvenient to go to the doctor a week later. (especially when serious) And then they pour the money in point less wars by sending our dear brothers to fight in foreign lands. If they didn't waste money like this then clearly with much less money not only they could improve NHS (resulting in healthy savings) but also better education for people. Education is key to better economy.

Inconnux
Inconnux

less taxes == better economy... its too bad socialists don't see this obvious fact.