Guidance

Claiming Video Games Tax Relief for Corporation Tax

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

Who can claim

Your company can claim Video Games Tax Relief if:

  • the video game is:
    • certified as British by the British Film Institute (BFI)
    • intended for supply to the general public
  • at least 25% of core expenditure is on goods or services provided from within the European Economic Area (EEA)

Core expenditure is what’s spent on designing, producing and testing the game.

Your company must also:

  • 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 video games must pass a cultural test and be certified as British.

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 Video Games Tax Relief if your game is produced for:

  • advertising or promotional purposes
  • the purposes of gambling

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 core expenditure on goods or services that are provided from the EEA

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 game is still in development, you can provide an interim certificate and send the final certificate when the game is complete
  • statements of the amount of core expenditure, split by EEA and non-EEA 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 video games companies, including examples of how the relief is calculated, in the Video Games Development Company Manual.

Published 10 February 2020