MPs stand up for Theatre Tax Relief

Yesterday was the second reading of the government’s Finance Bill which includes some changes to the way Theatre Tax Relief (TTR) will operate. Whilst we have been encouraged by HMT’s and HMRC’s improvements to the bill since the draft version, SOLT & UK Theatre continue to seek reassurances that the new legislation will not hamper the delivery of this crucial tax relief.

This week we briefed MPs to remind them that TTR is vital in driving economic activity and job creation. During the Finance Bill debate yesterday, Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Spokesperson for Treasury and Business & Industrial Strategy stated:

The Finance Bill has some implications for theatre tax relief, which plays a crucial role in enabling the development of new theatre productions. UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre have raised concerns to the Treasury about these implications, which could damage how this essential relief operates. I urge the Treasury to work with representatives from the creative sectors to address these concerns and provide clear guidance on changes to the administration of theatre tax relief introduced in this Bill”.

Barbara Keeley MP, Shadow Minister for Music and Tourism and longstanding advocate for TTR expressed concern about how wording in the bill threatens cultural tax reliefs, particularly in relation to international touring. In response to these remarks Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Nigel Huddleston MP said “we are always keen to support and engage with the creative industries”.

We will continue to work with the Government and other key politicians as the Bill goes through Parliament to make the case for TTR, including the retention of the higher rate and to ensure that accompanying guidance to the legislative changes is clear and as helpful as possible.

Read our parliamentary briefing for this debate.