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Spotlight: Lloyd Gunton, UK Tax Credit Expert

Meet the creative sector tax expert helping EP clients from indies to major studios maximize incentives across the UK.
May 7, 2024

The UK has one of the most reliable and stable incentive programs in the world–along with first class crew and facilities–but film growth could use a boost. With the support of incentive experts, helping production companies to navigate the many tax questions and financial resources available, international producers may find the process less daunting and be more willing to bring their next project to the UK.

Lloyd Gunton is exactly the one of those experts, someone that any producer considering shooting in the UK wants on their team from the start. As a Director and creative sector tax specialist at, FLB Accountants, a UK-based firm which was acquired by Entertainment Partners in 2022, Lloyd and his team have been instrumental in the expansion of EP’s global services. “It gives us access to the worldwide network of EP contacts and allows me to introduce clients to my EP colleagues, who are experts in US, Canadian, Australian and other international incentives” Lloyd says. “Given the increasing globalization of production, these combined services can be hugely valuable to productions.”

Because EP is a global leader in payroll, production incentives, accounting and software solutions for productions, it’s easy for experts like Lloyd Gunton and his team to access and obtain the information they need for tax credit claims efficiently–without adding to the workload of production executives and production accountants.

Expert guidance at every stage of production

In the early stages of a project, producers want to ensure that they qualify for the desired tax credit before committing to a plan that may not be compatible with that jurisdiction’s requirements. Given his wealth knowledge and years of experience working in the industry, Lloyd can assist by helping a project align both structurally and culturally to guarantee they qualify for the UK tax credit.

What if challenges arise mid-production and shifts in story, schedule, budget, or crew leave producers worried about maintaining eligibility for tax reliefs? Lloyd steps in to help stay the course. As he explains, “I keep things calm for the producers and provide reassurance and guidance on how we can manage the change.” This is key for managing long-term relationships with clients and assures producers that they have a partner every step of the way.

With over 13 years’ experience in accounting practice, working with productions ranging from micro-budget independent films to some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters and high-budget TV shows, Lloyd has found his passion in working to support his clients in the entertainment industry.

After graduating with a degree in Economics and Finance from University of York, Lloyd began his career in London at Ernst & Young, focusing on Media and Entertainment with an emphasis on live and recorded music. During that time, he gained extensive experience in reporting under US GAAP, UK GAAP and IFRS across his client portfolio.

He then went on to Saffery Champness in 2016, where he managed clients ranging from £100m+ turnover independent studios and multinational Hollywood majors, to creative sector start-ups and personal service companies. As part of the team, he provided full-service accountancy offerings, including financial audit, tax credit qualification and valuation, and technical accounting (specifically within the Film and TV sector).

A passion for the entertainment industry

What attracts Lloyd Gunton to work in the entertainment sector? He says, “I love the fast-paced nature of the industry, and the relationships that you can build both quickly, and lasting ones over a number of years.”

Cultivating relationships is the core of Lloyd’s work ethic; approaching every client with the desire to understand the DNA of their project, he aims to ensure he can be specific with his advice. He works closely with his clients to problem solve and find practical solutions in the face of insurmountable barriers. “It might be something structural, or it might have to do with how IP rights are flowing between companies—it can even get down to changes to the script to ensure that the cultural test requirements are met.”

When a client first reaches out to Lloyd, he sets up a meeting with the key decision makers of a project to better understand exactly what they are looking for, what their experience is, and how we can best help them. “Going in with a standard out-of-the-box solution doesn’t work in the creative sector,” he explains, “no two productions are the same.”

Once he understands the structure, expectations, and what the pressure points are internally,   can help a project get off on the right track and avoid unpleasant surprises further down the line.

 “It's all about making the client feel confident that we know what they need, and that we have planned out ahead of time,” he says. “This may be helping to ensure that the production qualifies, that the legal agreements work for tax credit purposes, and that we are helping the production be in the right place from the start.”

Precision and purpose

In addition to his intricate understanding of the productions he supports, timelines is a core tenant of Lloyd’s approach to servicing his clients. Putting their minds at ease, he and the FLB team work to provide open communication and clear expectations as claims are processed, allowing clients to appropriately plan cash flow and prevent any financing issues once a project wraps. “I work with a lot of producers who have not previously accessed the UK incentive before, so a significant element of the relationship management is simply around reassuring them about the process, how things move along and what is needed at each step.”

Recently, Lloyd worked on the tax credit for the 2021 James Bond film, ‘No Time to Die.’ “To work on such a high-profile production was a great experience, but also a challenge as it was so heavily impacted by COVID and the challenges that this placed on the producers,” he explains. “The sheer number of locations and moving parts made it a significant challenge, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed.”

In addition to big Hollywood blockbusters, Lloyd Gunton’s clients also include independent producers and creatives. “I recently worked with an artist who had produced a film as part of an art installation. I was able to help them liaise with our tax authorities, get approval for the qualification based on a theatrical release and festival exhibition of the film, and help them access incentive funds that they had not initially believed they would be eligible for,” Lloyd says. “Working in such a positive and collaborative way with the client on this occasion felt hugely rewarding, especially at the point I was able to give them a figure for the estimated rebate!”

While every production poses different challenges, Lloyd enjoys the variety of clients he is fortunate to help. Whether he’s submitting huge incentive claims for a multi-million dollar Blockbuster hit, or helping an independent film navigate the process from script to cash incentive being paid into their bank account, it all is equally rewarding.

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