Creative sector reliefs

One of the key government objectives is to make the UK the technology centre of Europe. It is intended that creative sector relief will help support technological innovation and growth in the digital, creative and other high technology areas.

High-end television and children's television tax relief

This relief is available against corporation tax for companies involved in high-end television production, children's television or animation. The relief was amended to include children's television in 2015. The relief applies to qualifying expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2013 for high-end television or animation and qualifying expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2015 for children’s television, by relevant companies within the scope of UK corporation tax directly involved in producing and delivering the content.

Video games/animation tax relief

Similar to the television relief, this tax relief is available against corporation tax for companies involved in video games development. Following State Aid approval the relief came into effect from 1 April 2014.

In order to determine eligibility for these reliefs and prepare a claim, you will need to get to grips with a number of potentially challenging areas:

  • It will be necessary to separately identify income, costs and tax adjustments for each television programme or video game as a separate trade in the company’s corporation tax computation,
  • You cannot claim R&D tax relief and television/video games relief in respect of the same expenditure, so it may be necessary to model potential benefits in advance of making claims,
  • It may be challenging to identify income attributable to a television programme where sold as part of a package with other programmes and/or other commercial rights, and
  • It may be difficult to assess whether the cultural test will be met, particularly where your wishes to make claims before the television programme/video game is finished.

Film tax relief

Film tax relief, has been amended over recent years. These changes should encourage further investment into the thriving UK film industry, and should help visual effects companies and minority co-productions. The expansion of the cultural test to include European as well as British culture will enable a larger number of films to attract this valuable relief. These changes are beneficial for both large and small budget films and will encourage investment in the UK film and visual effects industry.

Theatre tax relief

The relief is available against corporation tax for companies involved in theatrical productions and applies to expenditure incurred on or after 1 September 2014. This relief supports the production of plays, musicals, opera, ballet and dance. It's given by way of a super additional deduction (up to 100% of qualifying core European Economic Area (EEA) expenditure) and a payable tax credit (worth up to 25% of losses surrendered). It is based on a similar model to the Film Tax Credit.

Orchestra tax relief

The relief is available against corporation tax for qualifying orchestra production companies putting on a qualifying orchestral concert. Relief is available for qualifying expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2016. Relief is given by way of a super additional deduction (up to 100% of qualifying core European Economic Area (EEA) expenditure) and a payable tax credit (worth up to 25% of losses surrendered). It is based on a similar model to Theatre tax relief.

Museum relief

A new tax relief for museums and galleries will be introduced from 1 April 2017.

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