Game of Thrones, courtesy of Home Box Office, Inc

UK High-end TV Tax Relief

Value of UK TV Tax Relief

For scripted television projects with a minimum core expenditure of £1 million per broadcast hour, the TV Production Company (TPC) can claim a rebate of up to 25% of qualifying UK expenditure.

Accessing UK TV Tax Relief

  • TV Tax Relief is available for British qualifying scripted television. TV projects must either pass the Cultural Test or qualify as an official co-production
  • TV projects must be intended for broadcast (including internet)
  • TV projects, including those made under official co-production treaties, must reach a minimum UK spend requirement of 10%
  • Tax Relief is available on qualifying UK production expenditure on the lower of either 80% of total core expenditure or the actual UK core expenditure incurred
  • There is no cap on the amount which can be claimed
  • The TPC responsible for the project needs to be within the UK corporation tax net

Minimum UK spend requirement

A minimum of 10% of costs must be spent on UK qualifying production expenditure.

UK qualifying production expenditure is defined as expenditure incurred on filming activities (pre-production, principal photography and post production) which take place within the UK, irrespective of the nationality of the persons carrying out the activity.

HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) definition of UK spend introduces the concept of where a good or service is “used or consumed” in the UK. If they are used or consumed in the UK, the expenditure is treated as UK expenditure (under the rules set out in the clauses of the Finance Bill). If they are used or consumed outside the UK, they do not count as UK expenditure.

Further details on the definition of “used or consumed” are available in HMRC’s guidance on TV Tax Relief.

TV Production Company (TPC)

UK TV Tax Relief is available to TPCs.

The TPC is defined as the company responsible for the pre-production, principal photography and post production of the TV project and for the completion of the finished TV project. (There is no requirement for the rights to be owned by the TPC at the time the TV project is completed).

The TPC must be within the UK corporation tax net.

Creative tax unit

The UK now has a specialist government unit to deal with the corporation tax affairs of companies which are eligible for TV Tax Relief. The unit, which is part of HM Revenue & Customs, works mostly with Special Purpose Vehicles established to make a single film.

The Creative Tax Credit Unit can be contacted at:

Creative Industries Unit
Local Compliance SO717
PO Box 3900
Glasgow
G70 6AA

Tel: 03000 510 191

Email: creative.industries@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Website: gov.uk/corporation-tax-creative-industry-tax-reliefs

Further guidance

Media lawyers and accountants can provide advice on British qualification and accessing UK Tax Relief. Contact information can be found in UK production directories:

The Knowledge

KFTV

Kays