Creative industry tax reliefs


Creative industry tax reliefs are a group of eight Corporation Tax reliefs that allow qualifying companies to increase their amount of allowable expenditure. 

These reliefs are:

These reliefs work by increasing the amount of allowable expenditure. Where your company makes a loss, you may be able to 'surrender' the loss and convert some or all of it into a payable tax credit.

Qualifying for creative industry tax reliefs

Your company can claim creative industry tax reliefs if it is:

  • liable to Corporation Tax
  • directly involved in the production and development of:
    • films
    • high-end television
    • children's television
    • animation television
    • video games
    • theatrical productions
    • orchestral concerts
    • museum or gallery exhibitions
  • involved with decision-making
  • directly negotiates, contracts and pays for rights, goods and services

Your company must have responsibility throughout development, from the start of pre-production until the completion of the film, programme or game.

For theatrical productions, orchestral concerts or exhibitions, the company must be responsible for producing, running and closing the production.

Cultural test

To qualify for creative industry tax reliefs, all films, animation and television programmes or video games must be certified as British. They must pass a cultural test or qualify through an internationally agreed co-production treaty.

The British Film Institute (BFI) manages certification and qualification on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The BFI will issue:

  • an interim certificate for uncompleted work
  • a final certificate where production has finished

If you have any queries concerning certification, email: or read the BFI's guidance on the cultural test, certification and qualification.

A specialist unit within HMRC deals with most claims for creative industries tax reliefs. You can send your questions about claiming the reliefs to the Creative Industry Unit.