New Forest East

TREASURY – FILM PARTNERSHIP SCHEMES [83222] - 27 November 2021

TREASURY – FILM PARTNERSHIP SCHEMES [83222] - 27 November 2021

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will list the grounds on which HMRC determines which Film Partnership investors were (a) genuine and (b) engaged in exploitation of tax reliefs for the purpose of tax avoidance; what consideration was given to the latter possibility when Film relief was introduced in 1997; what protection is currently offered to people who invested in Film Partnership schemes (i) primarily to support the UK film industry and (ii) in good faith after obtaining advice from qualified financial experts; what the typical time-lapse has been between an individual having made an investment in a Film Partnership scheme and the commencement of a tax recovery initiative by HMRC in respect of that investment; and if he will make it his policy to discriminate between those investors who can be proved to have abused the Film Partnership tax relief concession and those who sought to use it for its ostensible purpose.  [83222]

[Due for Answer on 2 December] 


The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Lucy Frazer): In 1997, the Government introduced a form of relief for investment in films, which has since been repealed. Whilst many partnerships sought to invest in British films and take advantage of the relief afforded, there were also many which sought to use the relief in ways not intended, often trying to obtain tax relief well in excess of the amount that they put in. Significant legislative action was taken over a number of years to try and prevent these various forms of abuse, and HMRC continues to actively investigate and counter those schemes where it has concerns. As reliefs are typically generated via partnership structures, HMRC enquiries are made into the tax returns of the partnerships. Enquiries are opened into partnership returns within 12 months of them being submitted, as permitted by legislation, and the outcome of these enquiries is determined on the facts of each individual case. continues to settle and litigate these complicated schemes which have typically taken years to unpick and prepare for litigation. HMRC settles disputes with taxpayers in line with its published Litigation and Settlement Strategy.