Govt moots game developer tax-break rethink

Less tax equals more games?

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Tax breaks for the British videogames industry moved a step closer this week, after a government Minister admitted that the administration must “look again” at the issue.

Speaking at a games industry conference held in London yesterday, Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism, said that UK.gov needs to reconsider the issue.

The videogame industry, she said, “quite rightly makes the comparison between tax relief on offer to the film industry, and [the benefits available] for games".

Both France and Canada already give tax relief to local games developers, but Hodge admitted that the UK government is nervous about introducing a similar system in Blighty because of risk of cross-country funding wars.

No timetable for the government's reconsideration of the matter was given.

Several sectors of UK industry, most notably film production, already benefit from a tax relief system that offers double-figure percentage discounts to encourage movie makers to start shooting in Britain. R&D efforts also attract tax credits of between 125 per cent and 150 per cent of the cost of research endeavours.

France reduces games developers' tax burdens by 20 per cent, the same tax discount Georgia plans to offer game creators working in the US state. Canada's Quebec region provides games developers with a 37.5 per cent tax break.

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