Guide to: Creative Industry Tax Relief

29th April 2019

The Creative Industry Tax Relief forms a group of eight Corporation Tax reliefs that allow qualifying companies to claim a larger tax deduction or, in certain instances, to claim a payable tax credit when calculating taxable profits. They work by increasing the value of allowable expenditure.  In the instance where you company makes a loss, you may be able to surrender the loss and convert some – or all – of it into a payable tax credit.  

The 8 Creative Industry Tax Reliefs

The 8 core areas of Creative Industry Tax Relief are as below, and each of them has its own qualifying conditions and rates of relief.

  • Film Tax Relief (FTR)
  • Animation Tax Relief (ATR)
  • High-end Television Tax Relief (HTR)
  • Children’s Television Tax Relief (CTR)
  • Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR)
  • Theatre Tax Relief (TTR)
  • Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR)
  • Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief (MGETR)

Which companies are eligible?

Your company must be paying Corporation Tax and it must be involved in the production/development of one of the following areas:

  • Video Games
  • Theatrical Productions
  • Animation Programmes
  • Museum or gallery exhibitions (restrictive eligibility criteria)
  • High-end and children’s TV programmes
  • Particular films
  • Orchestral concerts

In the areas of film, TV programmes, animations and video games then your business will need to pass a “cultural test” or qualify through an internationally-agreed co-production treaty, to be certified by the British Film Institute.

Exhibitions, orchestral concerts and theatrical productions do not have to pass the cultural test.

creative industry tax relief

Where do you start?

There is a specialist unit within HMRC that deals with claims related to the creative industry tax relief.  You can reach them at this link Creative Industry Unit.  You can also consult with your accountant or financial professional for guidance and support.

You should  claim for relief on your Company Tax Return but, if you are required to do a cultural test, then you must wait until your certification is received from the BFI.  Interim certificates must be replaced with a final certificate after the TV programme, film or video game has been completed, otherwise you will have to repay any interim relief already paid.  You can make, amend or withdraw your creative industry tax relief claims up to one year after the company’s filing date, though late claims may be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

Information correct at the time of publication.  You should always seek professional advice when making financial decisions and this article does not constitute financial advice.  April 2019.

Chartered Accountants in Sunderland, offering expertise on everything from Tax and Business Planning,
to Accounts and VAT.