Guidance

Claiming Film Tax Relief for Corporation Tax

Find out if you qualify for Corporation Tax Film Tax Relief and what you can claim.

Who can claim

Your company can claim Film Tax Relief on a film if:

  • it passes the cultural test or qualifies as an official co-production
  • it’s intended for theatrical release
  • at least 10% of the core costs relate to activities in the UK

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 film
  • 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 must be certified as British. The film 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

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

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 film is still in development, you can provide an interim certificate and send the final certificate when the film 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 film production companies, including examples of how the relief is calculated, in the Film Production Company Manual.

Published 10 February 2020