CMC Animation Exchange – Panel: Fulfilment
Iain Harvey The Illuminated Film Company
Moses Nyachae Saffery Champness
Liz Brion Grant Thornton
The bean-counting session!
Iain Harvey chaired a hugely informative and accessible panel discussion dealing with issues of process, paperwork, accountancy and legalities.
The panel dealt with the burning issue of paperwork – how to find out how much the relief is worth to your project and how best to deal with the accompanying form filling required before getting your hands on the cash.
The panel also talked through additional information, shortcuts, tips and practical advice:
- The payable tax credit will be 25% of qualifying expenditure, subject to a cap of 80%
- It is a tax credit so will be part of a company’s tax return
- Get the interim certificate in place as soon as possible, that will be required for the tax return
- You don’t have to wait until the end of production to claim
- You can set your own accounting period. The audit process will take 2-4 weeks, and the turnaround at HMRC is around 4-6 weeks, meaning a 2 month waiting period until the first tranche of money is paid
- The process can be repeated each time you want to make a claim
- Avoid holding up your claim by ensuring all financial and tax records, and all your tax payments (e.g. VAT) are up to date – i.e. make sure your house is in order before you claim!
- Overhead costs should form part of the budget claim but MUST be substantiated – same with producer fees. The good news is that production fees should be eligible for tax credit
- A good understanding of ‘used or consumed’ is relation to where the work is being carried out is essential
- An intention at conception to broadcast (whether via television or internet channels) must be demonstrated. If you start with an intention but it doesn’t happen, there is a provision for abandoned projects. If you cannot prove the intention, then projects which do not broadcast may fail to qualify.
- Any deferred costs can be reclaimed further down the line
- The company making the claim has to be responsible for pre and post production
The consensus from the panel (and other panels during the afternoon) was to free up the producers to get on with the creative and get the professionals in to do the paperwork. This is a highly specialist area, and there’s a value to the professional service you’ll be getting which will guarantee you full exploration of all avenues for potential credit and a painless application process!