Musicals and comedy shows in France are to be excluded from a tax exemption introduced to boost the arts.

Introduced in 2016, the tax credit was designed to help producers looking to develop cultural activities. Arts group PRODISS said that in 2017 it benefitted almost 15,000 performances, and brought in €2.40 in tax and social revenue for every €1 spent by the State.

The so-called Crédit d’impôt pour les entreprises de spectacles vivants musicaux allows smaller and midsized concert companies to apply for a tax credit of up to €500,000 per show or a ceiling of €750,000 per year and per company on deductable expenses. Eligible companies must pay earnings tax and have managing directors that do not earn more than €50,000 per year.

However, the French lower house of parliament has now adopted a government amendment that changes the eligibility criteria and excludes comedy shows and musicals.

PRODISS said it intends to lead the fight in the Senate, as part of the 2019 budget bill, to restore the support for the entertainment industry.

“To give the illusion of change, the government is pricing in developing musical comedies and emerging comedians for essential support, it limits the eligibility of projects without saying why. It will save perhaps €1m to the detriment of artistic diversity. A million will return directly to the cinema, to which it has granted an increase in tax credit,” said Olivier Darbois, president of PRODISS.

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