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When everyone has tax breaks, wouldn’t it be better if no-one had tax breaks?
In their latest regulatory round-up, law firm Osborne Clarke points out that Germany, Italy and Spain will soon be joining the UK, Canada, France and many US states in offering tax breaks to developers.
- German Games Industry Presents Model Bill For Development Tax Credits
- Italy extends Tax Benefits for Audiovisual Works – Good News for Games?
- Spain Moves Forward on Video Games Tax Incentives and eSports
So in an attempt to “level the playing field”, we have created a playing field where in each country, individual developers have to jump through regulatory hoops, employing lawyers, accountants and consultants, to access tax relief to enable them to make video games and diverting tax revenue that can be spent on other areas of the economy.
I know that I am in a minority in disliking special pleading. I also know that companies I am involved with will claim Video Game Tax Relief, because we need the money to make better games, and we would be crazy not to.
But I can’t help wishing we didn’t live in an inefficient world that rewards lobbying and special pleading and enriches professional advisors at the expense of tax revenues for the state.