EU to investigate games tax relief

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TIGA urges UK developers to rally to defend the state aid.

UK games developers have been encouraged by its association to take up arms against a move by the European Union to investigate the Games Tax Relief.

Explaining its rationale behind a fresh investigation into the proposed 25% tax relief on videogames developed in the UK, commission vice-president in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia questioned its need.

Pointing to what he saw as a robust and healthy development sector in the UK, Almunia said it was unclear that the taxpayer should be subsidising the industry.

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, commented: “The EU Commission’s decision to launch an investigation into the case for GTR is a very disappointing hold-up which if prolonged could jeopardise much needed investment and job creation in the UK’s games industry.

“The UK games industry needs to surmount one final hurdle before GTR can be enacted: we must make a compelling, convincing and constructive case to the EU Commission of the merits of GTR.”

Earlier this year, Dr Wilson pointed to the possible difficulties that the EU could present to promoting the UK's own games industry.

He told us: “If we had a looser arrangement with Europe then it's possible the government might have more leeway and might be able to support specific industries with tax credits, with tax breaks, which might not necessarily have to be run by Europe at all.”

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