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Rockstar North take 37% of UK VideoGame Tax Relief Fund , Pays No Corporation Tax in 10 Years

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22 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

(£24k average salary for Rockstar North, not exactly brilliant).

 

Dear lord, for Edinburgh that really is fairly shite.

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13 minutes ago, Liamness said:

 

Thing is there are similar tax credits for film and TV. Tax credits are not actually there just to help struggling devs, but to encourage production companies with big budgets to base themselves here, because we like the network effect they bring. They tend to hire a lot of people on decent salaries, and bring a lot of money to local businesses. We are competing with the likes of Canada for their attention, because they also understand these benefits. It might be that when you look at the big picture it's all still quite difficult to defend, but it's worth remembering why these tax breaks were set up in the first place.


I guess we can’t see the bigger picture of what Rockstar brings to the local economy.
 

With film/tv they at least visually showcase the area where they are filmed and in some cases generate tourism. I don’t see how that follows for a videogame company.

 

It’s like that Ben Folds song ‘Free Coffee’.

 

Fundamentally, I don’t think government’s should be bunging successful companies to stay put, and tax relief should only be provided when tax paid exceeds the relief amount.

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I certainly think a scheme like that should be structured such that you can't claim relief if you're not paying tax. It's true of, for example, pension contributions.

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40 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

I certainly think a scheme like that should be structured such that you can't claim relief if you're not paying tax. It's true of, for example, pension contributions.

 

That's not true. Everyone can pay in up to GBP 2,880 a year and receive tax relief (taking it up to GBP 3,600) even if you have no earnings. If you're earnings are below GBP 12,500 (the personal allowance) you can put all of it into a pension and again get tax relief on the whole amount, despite not having paid any income tax.

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I think "not true" is overstating it for what are edge cases, but OK. If I earn £20k and want to pay £30k into my pension, I'll only get tax relief on the first £20k. But it's a little off-piste.

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23 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

(£24k average salary for Rockstar North, not exactly brilliant).

 

More than the average wage in D&G. We're about £120 lower than the national average per week. I'm on the highest I've ever earned, and I'v not broke that 22k barrier yet. 

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Well your post was incorrectly stating that you can't claim tax relief on pensions if you're not paying tax. Which is untrue. Although we're going somewhat off piste here.

 

The question to ask is how many more jobs have Rockstar located in the UK because of the tax relief offered to them; and how much extra have the government collected as payroll taxes as a result.

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23 minutes ago, gossi the dog said:

Well your post was incorrectly stating that you can't claim tax relief on pensions if you're not paying tax. 

 

That post above was my first in the thread. I was just making noise that I'd love to be on £24k!

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1 hour ago, Mr Tony said:

 

More than the average wage in D&G. We're about £120 lower than the national average per week. I'm on the highest I've ever earned, and I'v not broke that 22k barrier yet. 

But if the point of tax relief is to create highly skilled, and you could presume as a result, highly paid UK jobs then an average salary of £24k makes the whole tax relief pointless, especially when the average U.K. salary is £28k.

 

But then I know that Rockstar heavily relies on “your working for the company that makes GTA, so you’ll accept lower wages and work more hours in return for the Kudos” while they also happily accept tax relief to increase profits further.

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I'm amazed at this 24k figure. Would it be internal testing staff dragging the average down or do programmers & artists earn less that I expected?

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17 minutes ago, Trumpets said:

I'm amazed at this 24k figure. Would it be internal testing staff dragging the average down or do programmers & artists earn less that I expected?

 

Both.

 

£22k a year for a video game developer at any point of the ladder is a disgusting insult. To compare I began 2005 with a new web/graphics design job at a local tech campus (Burnley. LOL!) on that exact figure. £25k by the time I resigned (2010).

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For comparison, I work for Uni of Dundee, so academia / public sector, not exactly famed for high wages, and living costs in Dundee are much better than Edinburgh.

 

My department have a development team, predominantly web and Windows apps.

We would start a junior dev / grad on £22.5k, give them 34 holidays a year, and never expect any crunch time. Not making games of course!

 

2 hours ago, Fallows said:

 

Both.

 

£22k a year for a video game developer at any point of the ladder is a disgusting insult. To compare I began 2005 with a new web/graphics design job at a local tech campus (Burnley. LOL!) on that exact figure. £25k by the time I resigned (2010).


I think you did well. I interviewed for a intern/junior dev with EA Chertsey in 2004, and I’m sure they starting was £18k, or just about enough to live in a garden shed an hour away...

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Rockstar's response:

https://www.vg247.com/2020/01/20/rockstar-taxwatch-uk-vgtr-tax-relief-report-ukie-rockstar-response/

 

Quote

“Video Game Tax Relief (VGTR) is a forward thinking policy that shows the UK understands the significance of games as a leading creative industry. We know that VGTR delivers a great return on investment for the taxpayer. For every £1 invested into the games industry via VGTR, it pays back £4 in gross value add into the economy,”

 

Still doesn't explain why the taxpayer needs to make an investment in the first place.

 

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2 hours ago, BadgerFarmer said:

Rockstar's response:

https://www.vg247.com/2020/01/20/rockstar-taxwatch-uk-vgtr-tax-relief-report-ukie-rockstar-response/

 

Still doesn't explain why the taxpayer needs to make an investment in the first place.


So can some smarter people clarify some parts of this article:

 

Rockstar say the £37.6mill VGTR allowed them to create 1,000 jobs. This is misleading as there were no constraints on them doing so without the VGTR. I assume all those jobs average £37,600 salary? No. So, this statement is horseshine, isn’t it?

 

UKIE says the £100mill total VTGR supports 4,320 jobs. The return on tax payer investment is £400mill gross value added. So if this were funded out of the colossal profits by the companies involved, rather than VTGR, then this would add an extra 20% value to our economy, right? 
 

How exactly does this contribute to the economy other than employment and taxation of those being paid below the national average and expected to work 100 hour weeks during crunch - despite claims this fund is entirely used to invest in those people?

 

And then for further context there is this:

 

https://www.vg247.com/2018/10/26/red-dead-redemption-2-royalties-report/

 

Take-Two royalty payments to Rockstar in  2017: $383 million most of which analysts suggest goes to the Houser brothers.

 

Revenue generated by GTAV Online as of 2017: $6 BILLION. 

 

Take-Two royalty payments to Rockstar in  2018: $583 million. They issue a denial this is given to the Housers and say it is spread among labels and staff.

 

Of course they issue statements like “we’re proud of the team”, “everybody benefits”, “So smart of the UK gov to recognise this industry” etc. But ultimately the taxpayer should not be offering tax relief where it is not needed. Especially to a company with a record of crunching employees and not paying tax.

 

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7 minutes ago, grindmouse said:


So can some smarter people clarify some parts of this article:

 

Rockstar say the £37.6mill VGTR allowed them to create 1,000 jobs. This is misleading as there were no constraints on them doing so without the VGTR. I assume all those jobs average £37,600 salary? No. Ok so this statement is horseshine.

 

UKIE says the £100mill total VTGR supports 4,320 jobs. The return on investment is £400mill gross value added for the tax payer. So if this were funded out of the colossal revenue/royalties by the companies involves then this would add an extra 20% value to our economy, right? 
 

How exactly does this contribute to the economy other than employment and taxation of those being paid below the national average and expected to work 100 hour weeks during crunch - despite claims this fund is entirely used to invest in those people? Genuine question I’m not well versed in all this.

 

The cost to a company for employed labour is not just salary cost. The cost to the company for labour + overheads is usually around double the labour rate.

 

I think yuor second point is somewhat speculative. But in essence, if you are an employer, the wages you pay contribute to the tax take. The argument being without the VGTR (and lots of industries get tax releif in various guises) the jobs would go to another country. Whether they would or not is a different matter.

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9 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

 

Especially to a company with a record of exploiting workers

 

I tink we have evidence of crunch and we have evidence of pressure put on worker (as do many other industries) but i;m not sure we can say they exploit workers,

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18 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

I tink we have evidence of crunch and we have evidence of pressure put on worker (as do many other industries) but i;m not sure we can say they exploit workers,


Amended.

 

Just angry at the arseholes in charge of any successful company raiding public pockets. I don’t have any evidence they’re arseholes either.

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27 minutes ago, grindmouse said:


Amended.

 

Just angry at the arseholes in charge of any successful company raiding public pockets. I don’t have any evidence they’re arseholes either.

No no thats fair enough. But its quite a nuanced equation i would guess. SOmetimes in these situations its easy to bite your nose off to spite your face in the name of fairness.

 

I mean at its base, why should a company earning billions pay less tax than a small business earning £100K doing, plumbing, for example and works every hour god sends . And it will be down to where the salesco is based and the fact that Rockstar North is an R&D centre and dont actually sell anything.

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The whole point of trickle down wealth is that there has to be a trickle to start with.

 

fuck Rockstar and fuck the system that allows this grotesque abuse of tax income

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To be honest. If Rockstar was avoiding tax like the OP website says, then it would be front page news, or close it. I've not read anything on the contrary, has anyone else?

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