The energy crisis and the geopolitical situation did not have a negative impact on Tax Shelter fundraising in 2022, especially with government support. 2023 promises to be more dangerous.
After a 17% drop in 2020 due to the health crisis, a 12% increase was recorded in 2021. raising funds from a tax shelter, a tax exemption system for companies investing part of their taxable profits in the audiovisual and/or performing arts. 2022 confirms this trend.
This is what emerges from an overview of a a middleman who collects a dozen or more. According to our estimates, the panel weighs 80-90% of the sector. total, these companies raised more than 176 million euros, which is 17.3% more than in 2021. One of them, Casa Kafka, did not want to disclose its figures for 2022 (see box). According to our information, this subsidiary of RTBF would earn ten million. A number the CEO did not comment on.
Extrapolating to the entire market, The total figure of 180 million euros collected in 2021 should be exceeded and close to 193 million in 2019 before the crisis.
“The doubling of the investment limits helped to attract bigger investors and those with higher profits.”
Opinions are unanimous: In the midst of the pandemic, the government’s extension of a measure decided in 2020, allowing investment ceilings to be doubled, helped the sector immensely.. “It attracted bigger investors, more profitable ones,” he notes Alexander Wittamerthe manager Taxshelter.beIt collected 34.5 million (+ 13%), in about 265 audiovisual and stage projects.
“This event accounted for 20% of our fundraising,” he adds Fabrice Delville, Head of Beside The (former Belga Films Fund) invested in 48 audiovisual projects and 72 stage projects, which increased by about 7% to 32 million.
There are also several intermediaries raised money for co-productions with streaming platforms (Amazon, Netflix…) but their impact was not as significant as estimated, the extent of their local production obligations as envisaged in the new SMA decree has not yet been clearly defined.
“There was a catch-up effect in 2022.”
“There was a catch-up effect in 2022,” he explains in turn Guy Pollentier, director of BNPP Fortis Film Finance; In 2021, many audiovisual projects were not ready and shows could not be performed due to the health crisis.” In 2022, the Tax shelter structure of the first bank in the country thus had a good year and raised less than 35 million. 20 a year ago, which is its allowed him to become the leader with a small margin.” Considering the specificity of the Covid years, in this context it is better to compare our activity with the year 2019 before the crisis. We know there is a 35% increase“, applauds Guy Pollentier, who admits that his client portfolio of many large companies has allowed him to benefit from the doubling of investment limits.
Surprisingly, several of our interlocutors mention the energy crisis, which may affect the potential of investors. “Many companies want to take advantage of the mechanism, This means that despite the economic problems we have been experiencing for several months, their taxable profit was there.” Laurent Jacobs and Bastien Sirodot, CEO of Umedia 31.3 million, increasing by more than 8%. “This trend is also confirmed by various indicators of good Belgian economic health in 2022.”
“Limiting the scope of projects raises a real question about the level of competitiveness of Belgium in attracting international co-production.”
The duo observes this in Umedia the increase of the funds involved is greater than the volume of the projects. Amazing? “This raises a real question about the level of competitiveness of Belgium and therefore the Tax Shelter in attracting international co-productions that bring the most money to our economy.”
An opinion that is visibly shared Turn it into an investment (Belgium is quite active in auteur films) which points to the protectionist policies of countries like France with tax credits. He collected 5 million against 6 million a year ago. “This decrease is a result of the lack of projects to be financed and the postponement of the green light of some feature films in 2023 (approved funding to start shooting, editor’s note),” the report said. The health crisis affected both production and financing schedules and theater projects were postponed in a chain… This inevitably affected the availability of projects to be financed in the Tax Shelter.
2023, the year of all dangers
The beginning year promises to be less prosperous, we hear here and there, because difficulties are many. First, because The new law passed last summer was considered incomprehensible by the industry (especially at the level of intermediaries and producer commissions).
Then because of the economic context. “Our investors’ margins are expected to be under pressure due to the effects of the energy crisis and inflation, but we are above all non-renewal of doubling the investment limit“, notes Fabrice Delville Beside. “It is important to extend this measure”, he insists Genevieve Lemal in his house Scope. “There is a bit of an impression that the situation for some companies is worse than during covid,” said Alexandre Wittamer at Taxshelter.be, “so it would be appropriate for the government to extend this doubling of the ceilings, especiallyFrom this year, video games, a new sector, will also be able to benefit from the tax shelter“. So we’ll have to share the cake.
Our investors’ margins are expected to be under pressure due to the effects of the energy crisis and inflation, but our main concern is that the doubling of investment limits will not be renewed.”
However apparently, this extension is not the intention of Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem To quote (CD&V) MP MR Benoît Piedboeuf’s answer to a recent parliamentary question, “because of the significant budget costs”. We contacted him, but his company did not respond to our messages. “The Minister forgets that the Tax Shelter is a vector of economic development and talks only about budget expenses. and with positive results in terms of growth, employment, VAT receipts, IPP and the Isoc” a fundraiser that gathers across industries for the State thunders. “This position shows a certain disrespect or, at best, a misunderstanding of the issues.”
The Silence of Casa Kafka
Casa Kafka has not disclosed the figures for 2022. RTBF subsidiary is in trouble. It was a victim of problems with Flemish producers Grid Animation and Music-Hall (live shows), whose Tax Shelter certificates were rejected by the tax authorities. Conclusion: investors must be compensated. The Music-Hall case is in the hands of justice. In addition, Belfius, which allowed Casa Kafka to cover investors from its trading network, ended its cooperation with him. Its CEO, Isabelle Molhant, nevertheless says that she is confident for 2023 and beyond: “We have prospects for increasing co-production with projects and platforms, probably the commitment to invest in local content.