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HMRC internal manual

Video Games Development Company Manual

Eligible expenditure: core expenditure

S1217AD Corporation Tax Act 2009

Expenditure of a video game trade includes that incurred from the start of development until the final delivery of the completed video game.

Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) is only available on core expenditure that is European Economic Area expenditure.

Core expenditure is expenditure that is incurred on:

  • designing,
  • producing, and
  • testing the video game.

Core expenditure does not include costs relating to:

  • original concept design
  • debugging
  • post release maintenance.

The original concept is the broad outline for the game, including themes, gameplay style, and overall plot (where appropriate). This element is primarily concerned with commercial appeal and most of the considerations will be towards that end.