U.K. Government Asks for Feedback on Planned Tax Credits for High-End TV Shows

 BBC

LONDON – The government has opened its book on the consultation into the proposed tax credit system to be introduced for high-end television programming in the U.K.

The department of culture, media and sport is looking to finalize a definition of what qualifies as a British production or co-production for the purposes of television programming.

It is likely to resemble the criteria currently used to determine tax credit eligibility for British movie projects.

For the high-end television considerations – productions with million dollar plus budgets – the DCMS has set an Oct. 29 deadline for submissions.

The government department is working with stakeholders, including the High End TV Tax Relief Working group, to finalize a definition.

Points will be awarded for cultural content, cultural contribution, cultural hubs and cultural practitioners, according to the proposed model.

Productions will have to gain 16 marks out of a maximum of 31 by meeting different criteria within the different areas.

Like the film tax credit, the tv checklist will also include points on cultural content, an area producers can gain big marks with 16 points up for grabs in that area.

Cultural content points may be available for moves such as setting the production in the U.K. or Europe, the main characters being British or European, a British story or it being delivered in English.

The British Film Institute currently assesses whether U.K. films pass the cultural test and the DCMS is proposing that it should also oversee the TV test.

The aim of the tax credit is to keep high – profie shows on British shores.

A slew of high-profile recent television work shot overseas due to more  favorable tax climates including the Julian Fellowes penned Titanic, which he wrote for Downton Abbey commercial broadcaster ITV.  It sailed to Canada and Hungary to film.

Belgium provided the location Parade’s End, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Anna Skellern, despite it being about a young British aristocrat, his socialite wife and a suffragette set against the backdrop of WW1.

Backed by the BBC and HBO and written by Tom Stoppard from Ford Madox Ford’s novel, the production mostly shot in Belgium with some filming in England.

And Emmy-nominated drama Camelot, starring Joseph Fiennes, Jamie Campbell Bower and Tamsin Egerton drew swords in Ireland.

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