Creative industry tax reliefs
An updated tax credit system for film, TV and video game production companies has started on 1 January 2024.
The new system replaces:
- the existing film, high-end TV, animation and children's TV tax reliefs with Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit
- the existing video games tax relief with Video Games Expenditure Credit
Under the new system, film, high-end TV and video games will be eligible for a credit rate of 34% and animation and children's TV will be eligible for a rate of 39%.
The expenditure credits will be available to claim from 1 January 2024. New productions must claim under the new expenditure credits from 1 April 2025 and all productions must claim under the expenditure credits from 1 April 2027 when the current tax reliefs will end.
The government has acknowledged that businesses will need time to adjust to the new rules. For this reason, productions and games in development on 1 April 2025 can continue using the old tax reliefs until they end on 1 April 2027.
The information below pertains to the old creative industry tax relief system.
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:
- Film Tax Relief
- Animation Tax Relief
- High-end Television Tax Relief
- Video Games Tax Relief
- Children's Television Tax Relief
- Theatre Tax Relief
- Orchestra Tax Relief
- Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief
These reliefs work by increasing the amount of allowable expenditure. If 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.
Who can claim 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:
- 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.
If you make a claim for one of the creative industry reliefs you will need to provide evidence to support your claim. HM Revenue & Customs can help with questions on claiming the reliefs - see how to contact their Creative Industry Unit.
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