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First UK Kids Projects Receive Tax Certificates

The British Film Institute’s Certification Unit issues tax certificates to two CBeebies’ series, stop-motion comedy series Calamity Island from UK-based Famous Flying Films and Mackinnon & Saunders, and Karrot Animation’s 2D-animated preschool series Sarah and Duck.

Sarah and Duck

After a lengthy draft legislation process to finalize tax relief for animators in the UK, the British Film Institute’s Certification Unit has officially begun issuing full certificates for animation and high-end TV projects.

According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, two CBeebies’ series so far have been awarded certificates after qualifying as British under either the appropriate cultural test or as an official television co-production under one of the UK’s co-production treaties.

Those programs are upcoming stop-motion comedy series Calamity Island from UK-based Famous Flying Films and Mackinnon & Saunders, and Karrot Animation’s 2D-animated preschool series Sarah and Duck, which debuted in February.

Following receipt of a BFI certificate, productions can apply for tax relief on any production spend incurred since April 1, 2013, the date when the BFI first started accepting draft applications.

More than 30 comfort letters, which provide assurance that applicants will receive the legal certificate issued by the BFI, have currently been issued to animation and high-end TV applicants that can be exchanged for certificates once receipts of a completed statutory declaration are received. The BFI expects to issue more certificates in the coming weeks as declarations come in.

Meanwhile, guidance for the new UK relief is being finalized by policy advisors from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in consultation with industry working groups and will be soon be published at www.hmrc.gov.uk. HMRC states that its Manchester Creative Sector Unit is now ready to handle incoming new projects.

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