Guidance

Claiming Children’s Television Tax Relief for Corporation Tax

Find out if you qualify for Corporation Tax Children's Television Tax Relief and what you can claim.

Who can claim

Children’s Television Tax Relief is an extension of high-end television and animation relief but is specifically for the producers of children’s television programmes.

Your company can claim Children’s Television Tax Relief on a programme if:

  • the programme is certified as British by the British Film Institute (BFI)
  • the programme is intended for broadcast – this includes streaming online
  • the primary audience for the programme is expected to be under the age of 15
  • at least 10% of the core costs relate to activities in the UK

Quizzes, game shows, and other programmes including an element of competition or contest may qualify if the prize total does not exceed £1,000.

Programmes commissioned together are treated as one programme.

Core expenditure is what’s spent on pre-production, principal photography and post-production.

Your company must also:

  • be responsible for pre-production, principal photography, post-production, and delivery of the completed programme
  • be actively engaged in planning and decision-making
  • directly negotiate, contract and pay for rights, goods and services

Cultural test

To qualify for creative industry tax reliefs, all films, 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 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: certifications@bfi.org.uk or write to:

Anna Mansi
Head of Certification BFI
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN

Who cannot claim

Your company cannot claim Children’s Television Tax Relief if the programme:

  • is an advertisement or promotional programme
  • is a news, current affairs or discussion programme
  • is a panel show, variety show, or similar programme
  • broadcasts live events, including theatrical and artistic performance
  • is produced for training purposes

What you can claim

You can claim an additional deduction to reduce your profits or to increase a loss. This will reduce the amount of any Corporation Tax you will need to pay. If you make a loss, some or all of this loss can be surrendered for a payable tax credit at a rate of 25%.

The additional deduction will be the lower of either:

  • 80% of total core expenditure
  • the amount of UK core expenditure

How and when to claim

You can claim for relief on your Company Tax Return. You will need to calculate the amount of:

  • additional deduction due to your company
  • any payable credit due

You should also provide:

  • a British cultural certificate from the BFI – if the programme is still in development, you can provide an interim certificate and send the final certificate when the programme is complete
  • statements of the amount of core expenditure, split by UK and non-UK expenditure
  • a breakdown of expenditure by category

You may make, amend or withdraw a claim to creative industry tax reliefs up to one year after the company’s filing date.

HMRC may agree to accept late claims in some circumstances.

Further information

You can find detailed guidance for children’s television companies, including examples of how the relief is calculated, in the Television Production Company Manual.

Published 10 February 2020