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Film firms want to reel in IFAs

Film finance companies are urging IFAs to wake up to the tax advantages of film investment schemes as private investor interest grows.

The schemes, introduced by the Government in 1997 to stimulate investment in British cinema, offer high-net-worth clients substantial tax advantages but have not had a high profile among IFAs.

One film finance firm, Future Film Group, recently invested £680,000 of private investors&#39 money in a major new British feature film, Last Orders, starring Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay, Ray Winstone and Helen Mirren, to be released next January.

In the last 12 months, around £800m has been invested in films through the tax-inc-entive scheme, making it a bigger sector than venture capital investments. Most of the money is through institutions but private investor participation is growing.

Film sale and leaseback deals see investment partnerships buy a film and its distribution rights and lease the film back to the producer who repays a guaranteed lease rental over 15 years.

Investors see tax deferred and paid back over 15 years as income tax.

Future Film Group joint managing director Jeff Abberley says: “As a simple tax-based opportunity, it is without equal over the last 10 years but many IFAs do not know about it. For an IFA it is a must-have product.”

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