The BFI refuses to disclose information regarding the Grant Theft Auto V tax credit scandal, claiming that it would not be in the public interest to do so.
- BFI refuses to release any information relating to GTA V being certified ‘culturally British’
- Disclosure would supposedly ‘prejudice the commercial interests of Rockstar North’
- Following an appeal from TaxWatch stating that disclosure is in the public interest, BFI are holding a review into the decision
The BFI has responded to a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request from TaxWatch, refusing to release documentation relating to GTA V being certified ‘culturally British’.
The BFI’s decision follows an investigation into how the multi-billion dollar game claimed £42m in tax credits from the UK government.
As part of their research, TaxWatch asked the BFI how a game set in a fictitious representation of Los Angeles involving murder, car-jacking, and drug-running could be certified as ‘culturally British’. This certification allowed the developers to claim the tax credits.
The BFI has stated that they do not believe that it is in the public interest to disclose this information.
Commenting on the BFI’s refusal to release the information, Alex Dunnagan researcher at TaxWatch said:
“It is ridiculous for the BFI to say that it is not in the public interest to reveal how they have come to the conclusion that GTA V is culturally British.
“The decision by the BFI resulted in tens of millions of pounds of public money being used to subsidise the most financially successful game in history – with subsidy being granted after it had already made billions in revenues for the US multinational behind the title.
“It is only right that the public is able to scrutinise decisions like this, and to understand how their money is being spent.”
TaxWatch has appealed, with the BFI now undertaking a review into the decision.