Wednesday 20 March 2013

UK Budget and IP

Well, we have the shiny brand new patent box proposals coming in April anyway, so there were no big  IP expectations of this Budget – just as well, really!

There was one 'direct' IP announcement – the above the line R&D relief for large companies is increased to 10%, from the originally proposed 9.1%. This doesn't sound much of an increase, but it's a large improvement on the 6% that the current large company relief would be worth when the 20% corporate tax rate comes into effect. (A post on ATL is in the works …)

A 'coming soon' announcement was also hidden in the Budget documents – the Government plans to introduce consultation on tax reliefs for the visual effects industry. Presumably these will be modelled on the film/quality tv/animation/video games reliefs that we already have, but there's no detail yet beyond the announcement of consultation.

There were quite a few indirect announcements – things that will benefit IP companies by benefiting companies and sectors in general, including:

- the 20% corporation tax rate: a bonus for large companies, and fairly predictable
- the NICs allowance of £2,000 per business, reducing the costs of employing people
- the extension of the capital gains tax exemption on investment via SEIS: useful for startups looking for funding
- then the grants etc funding, including £1.6bn for Industrial Strategy, part of which will go into a £2.1bn fund for aerospace; a £15m competition for digital content production; and £8m for the Skills Investment Fund, focussed on the digital content sector
- and finally, various initiatives intended to make it easier to raise finance. In theory.

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