As part of the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced more generous reliefs for Audio-Visual expenditure and published a Call for Evidence to consult on the policy design.

Stakeholders are invited to provide evidence of:

  • Recent trends in the visual effects industry.
  • The impact of the current film and high-end TV tax reliefs have on investment decisions.

And specifically:

  • The current size and composition of the UK visual effects industry.
  • The types of visual effects activities commissioned by production companies for film and high-end TV productions, and views on the 10 relative importance of these activities in terms of economic, cultural and technological benefits to the UK.
  • Details of the economic and cultural contributions of the industry.
  • Factors that impact a production company’s decision on where to place visual effects expenditure.
  • The competitive advantages of the UK as a destination for visual effects work compared to other jurisdictions.
  • The disadvantages of the UK as a destination for visual effects work compared to other jurisdictions.
  • Examples of international policies that have been effective at incentivising visual effects activities.

Feedback is sought from:

  • Businesses in the film and high-end TV sectors.
  • Visual effects studios. 
  • Business groups and trade associations. 
  • Accountants and accountancy bodies.

The Call for Evidence is open until 10 January 2024 and responses should be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The government will also be holding consultative meetings in December. Those wishing to attend should email the above address by 29 November 2023.

Questions

  1. How do you define ‘visual effects’? As part of your answer, please provide information on:
    1. The different sub-categories or types of visual effects and an indication of the cost of producing these subcategories.
    2. How visual effects is different from ‘special effects’.
    3. How visual effects is different from animation.
  2. Please provide information on the current size and composition of the UK visual effects industry. For example, information on the total number and size of UK companies, levels of employment, amounts spent on visual effects annually, estimates of total revenues or GDP contribution, and breakdown of activity by market (film, television, video games, advertisements etc.).
  3. How has the UK visual effects industry performed in recent years, and what have been the main business and wider economic trends? Please provide detailed information or examples, including (but not limited to) the following, and information on the factors that have driven these changes:
    1. Changes in overall levels of activity and employment within the UK visual effects industry.
    2. Trends in visual effects activity on culturally British films.
    3. Examples of visual effects activity, companies or employment moving overseas, and estimates of the value of this activity.
    4. Details of British films (particularly large budget films) choosing to spend their visual effects budgets outside the UK.
    5. The proportion of production budgets for a) films and b) TV programmes that are spent on visual effects.
  4. What trends or changes do you expect to see in the visual effects industry in future? Please include information on how you expect technological advancements to affect the production of visual effects in future.
  5. What do you see as the most valuable types of visual effects work in the UK? What forms of visual effects would be most 19 beneficial for the Government to attract to the UK? This could be in terms of economic, cultural and/or technological benefits.
  6. For production companies, do you source visual effects work ‘in-house’ (i.e. from your own subsidiary companies) or from elsewhere?
  7. For production companies, if you source your visual effects from a subsidiary company or companies, are these companies based in the UK or overseas?
  8. For production companies, in cases where you choose to place the visual effects portion of your budget outside of the UK, what are the main reasons for this, which are the main countries that you place visual effects work in and why do you place visual effects work in these countries? The government is interested in both tax policies and wider policies or factors in other countries.
  9. For production companies, what are the average budget ranges of high-end TV/film productions that have substantial VFX components? For the purpose of this question, assume that 20% of the total number of shots in the production are subject to visual effects.
  10. How much VFX (as a percentage of the total number of shots) is commonly in lower budget productions (< £10 million production)?
  11. For productions costing > £10 million, what are the average costs of VFX work? Please provide figures as range.
  12. For production companies, at which point on the production cycle do you choose the VFX studio that you will work with?
  13. For production companies, how does the 80% cap on qualifying expenditure impact your decisions on where (ie. which country) to spend money on visual effects work?
  14. For production companies, please provide information about how many of your productions meet or exceed the 80% cap on qualifying expenditure. If possible, please specify the overall budgets of these productions and the proportion of expenditure on visual effects.
  15. For production companies, how would removing the 80% cap (only in relation to visual effects expenditure) impact your decisions about where to place visual effects expenditure?
  16. For visual effects studios, what features of the film and high-end TV tax reliefs do you believe have impacted whether you have a) won and b) lost bids for visual effects work for feature films and TV programmes? 

Useful guides on this topic

Film, Animation and TV tax relief
Film, Animation and TV tax relief are three reliefs that are part of the UK's suite of creative industry tax reliefs.

High-end Television Tax Relief
What is High-end Television Tax Relief (HTR)? Who can claim it?

Video Games Development relief
What is Video Games Development relief? Who can claim it?

External link

Call for evidence on the visual effects industry


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