[Release by Screen Australia]

On 30 October 2008, Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen MP and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett MP, released an issues paper seeking submissions on the effect of the film tax offsets on levels of independent and in-house television production.

The issues paper is part of a review of Division 376 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (the legislation setting up the offsets), which responds to concerns raised by the independent production sector that the offsets, particularly the Producer Offset, would result in a shift towards in-house production by the commercial television broadcasters at the expense of the independent production sector. The review is focused strictly on this issue and is required by section 376-275 of the Act.

The closing date for submissions is 28 November 2008.

According to the issues paper, submissions should provide:
*quantitative data about production levels to assess the effect of Division 376, particularly in relation to whether television production has shifted from independent producers to in-house production by the commercial television broadcasters; and
*any information or anecdotal evidence about how producers and broadcasters have set and/or negotiated license fees since the introduction of the tax offsets.

Submissions could also address some of the following questions:
-What effect has the Producer Offset had on the level of in-house production by Australian television broadcasters?
-What, if any, impact has the Producer Offset had on licence fees?
-What, if any, effect have the Location and Post, Digital and Visual effects (PDV) Offsets — which target large-budget offshore production locating in Australia — had on levels of independent and in-house television broadcaster production?
-What quantitative and/or qualitative evidence can you provide in support of your comments?

Read the Ministers’ release. Read the issues paper and find out how to make a submission on the Treasury website.

The review findings will be made available on the Treasury website after the review is complete.