SPA and ASTRA call for doubling of television production offset
Australian peak bodies have called for the television production tax offset to be doubled from 20 per cent to 40 per cent – the same level enjoyed by films.
Screen Producers Australian and Australian Subscription Television & Radio Association have urged the government to lift the offset following a new PwC report.
The report, commissioned by ASTRA and SPA, has found more than $103 million in economic activity would be created if the tax offset for Australian television production was equalised with the film industry offset.
Australia’s international competiveness in the globalised screen production and finance industry would also be significantly enhanced, according to the report.
The data, contained in a report produced by PwC, also shows that 360 new television production jobs as well as the net $103.9 million in economic activity would be created if the tax offset available to qualifying television productions was doubled from 20 per cent to 40 per cent.
ASTRA chief executive, Andrew Maiden, said employment in the domestic television production sector is challenged by the arrival of new offshore streaming services, "making it important that measures be taken to encourage the creation of local jobs.
"We also want to ensure we retain existing jobs by enhancing our competitive edge,” he said.
SPA chief executive, Matthew Deaner said: "The disparity between the tax offsets available for film and television no longer make sense in a market where content is produced for distribution on multiple screens and in a production environment of increasingly complex financing structures where our producers are competing on the international market."
The two organisations, in their first ever joint announcement, called on the Coalition and Labor to pledge to raise the tax offset to create the new jobs and economic activity in the coming election year.
In a joint statement, Deaner and Maiden said: “The Australian production industry plays a vital role in defining our culture, and this simple and relatively inexpensive measure would deliver great benefits to the creative community, local audiences and the national economy."
The PwC report shows that a doubling of the tax offset from 20 per cent to 40 per cent would cost the Commonwealth a maximum of $15.5 million in foregone tax revenue, but would generate an additional $119.4 million in economic activity, making the overall economy better off by more than $103 million.