As the UK Government'slong-awaited Finance Bill was finally published on Friday, accountants andlawyers went into over-drive to analyse what implications the Bill holds forthe UK film industry.

With 26 film-related pagesand 62 pages of explanatory memo in the 489-page Bill, this was not an easydocument to digest. Even some experts were admitting that the draft legislationis fiendishly complex. Nonetheless, there was widespread relief that theindustry is at last receiving the level of detail it needs to implement the newfilm tax credit system.

"This Bill puts in place thenew tax relief as announced by the Chancellor in his recent Budget report. Itshould provide more clarity," said a UK Film Council spokesperson.

"Generally it's in line withwhat we expected. They (the UK Government) haven't changed any of the headlinelevels of relief or thresholds that we were expecting. It'sgood news that we've got a framework and that some of the detail has beenexpanded on," said Lucy Elwes of accounting firm KPMG.

Producers should now have aclearer idea of what UK expenditure is: namely services performed in the UK and goods supplied in the UK. The draft legislation puts in place anti-avoidancemeasures announced recently. And it has been confirmed that Section 41 taxrelief (aimed at development) is to be scrapped alongside Section 42 andSection 48. Meanwhile, the Treasury (presumably mindful of past abuses)reserves the right to amend various subsections of the Bill.

At a first sight of theBill, some were continuing to question whether the new tax credit really willbe worth the promised 20% for low-budget films (defined as costing $34.8m(£20m) or less.)

Keith Evans of Baker StreetMedia Finance called for further clarification on what exactly "qualifying"expenditure and "core" expenditure mean.

Film tax consultant HarryHicks of Grant Thornton likewise pointed out that there was still a lack ofdetail about "qualifying" expenditure. "Does that include financing fees orcompletion bond fees' That has been left as a very vague, grey area," he said.

The Finance Bill will becomelaw when it receives Royal Assent later in the summer. In the meantime, thelobbying looks set to continue. "There may still be an opportunity to makerepresentations if people still feel very strongly about certain points," notedElwes.

The entire Finance Bill isavailable at Parliament's website.