The European Commission has given Belgium the go-ahead to bolster its game industry by creating a tax shelter.
The Belgian Tax Shelver initiative is a government-approved tax incentive designed to encourage the production of games in the country.
The system will be open to Belgian productions as well as international co-productions that meet certain criteria, and according to a press release, allows investors to "obtain tax exemptions through a virtually risk-free investment." The Belgian state then gains from increased economic activity and spend.
Belgian tax shelter details
The Tax Shelter can be used to finance up to 33.7 percent gross (27.2 percent Net) of the eligible production budget of the total qualifying expenses in the European Economic Area. "All expenditure in the European Economic Area for goods and services related to video games is eligible for the tax shelter. This includes all EU countries as well as Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland," adds the press release.
Belgium's Tax Shelter program previously covered the AV and performing arts industries, but has now been expanded to include games.
According to Michela Ritondo at the Fiscal Department for Foreign Investments of the Federal Finance Ministry, the program has already been used to finance more than 2,000 AV projects between 2003 and 2022, representing over €2.4 billion in Tax Shelter investments.
Those investments have reportedly resulted in the volume of AV productions being filmed in Belgium more than doubling since 2003. Belgium now hopes to provide its game industry with a similar shot in the arm.