Campaigners for animation tax breaks are urging the government to include the cost of development within the new policy, expanding benefits beyond the existing equivalent film credit.

Animation UK has been in discussions with key stakeholders from the industry and government about the details of the tax break, which was confirmed by chancellor George Osborne last month.

Top of the list is the request to expand the definition of “core costs” to retrospectively include work carried out prior to a commission.

Unlike the film credit, which does not cover the cost of script development, for example, this could offer animation companies an extra fillip to cover costly early-stage work.

The lobby group is also asking for the 25% credit to include online commissions and series for adults as well as children.

Oli Hyatt, chair of Animation UK, will submit the group’s final policy ideas to the Treasury next week. He told Broadcast: “In animation, there are so many upfront costs, it’s important that we work towards wording that allows for claiming the credit for development once a project is greenlit.”

Hyatt also issued a word of warning to those working in the field, saying they should not consider the policy “a done deal” until it has received the sign-off from Europe.

“I would advise people to carry on working as they were before. There are no guarantees of this happening and broadcasters are not going to take kindly to delaying delivery of shows.”

This article was first published in Broadcast.