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Joint media release
8 April 2009
The Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Chris Bowen MP and Minister for the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett MP, today released the review into the refundable tax offsets contained in Division 376 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. The review examined the impact of the film tax offsets, introduced in 2007, on levels of production by independent and in-house production by Australian television broadcasters.
The refundable tax offsets are designed to support and develop Australia's screen media industry by providing producers with tax offsets for their Australian expenditure when making films and television programs.
Thirteen submissions to the review were received in response to an issues paper released by the Government last October.
The review found that the overall level of Australian and co-production television drama was higher in 2007-08 than in previous years, and the balance of television production between independent and in-house production has remained stable since the offsets were introduced.
"Although the review has not found that the tax offsets have affected the share of independent production, it is still early days for the new tax arrangements for television and film production in Australia," Mr Bowen said.
"Several industry stakeholders raised other issues regarding the ongoing operation and administration of the tax offsets. These issues were outside the scope of this statutory review, but will be examined in a broader review into the independent production sector expected in 2010."
"A number of submissions to the statutory review specifically raised concerns with the current timing of payments from the offsets. The Government recognises the importance of this issue to the industry and is examining the issue more closely as a matter of priority," Arts Minister, Peter Garrett said.
"The tax offset is a new arrangement and it is essential that we allow further production and other data to be collected before undertaking the broader review we committed to in New Directions for the Arts."
The issues paper, submissions and review report are available at www.treasury.gov.au