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UK Video Games Tax Break Stats Released

by Robert Lee,, London

21 July 2016

The UK Government has provided GBP45.9m (USD60.6m) in Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) to developers since the relief was launched in April 2014, new figures show.

Companies are able to claim VGTR if the video game being developed is culturally "British," intended for supply, and at least 25 percent of the core expenditure is incurred on goods or services that are provided from within the European Economic Area (EEA). If a company qualifies, it is also entitled to an additional deduction in computing its taxable profits and, where that additional deduction results in a loss, to surrender losses for a payable tax credit.

Both the additional deduction and the payable credit are calculated on the basis of EEA core expenditure, up to a maximum of 80 percent of the total core expenditure.

HMRC said that since April 2014 there have been 135 claims for VGTR, supporting UK expenditure of GBP417m. There were 65 claims with a finance year of completion of 2015-16, covering GBP215m of UK expenditure.

In 2015-16, GBP45.4m was paid in response to 130 claims. In 2014-15, GBP500,000 was awarded to applicants.

HMRC added that 515 video games have applied for certification, of which 180 were granted final certification and 255 interim certification.

Ukie, the trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry, welcomed the figures. Ukie CEO Jo Twist said: "These figures show what an important contribution the Video Games Tax Relief makes to the games industry in the UK. The relief is enabling us to create jobs across the country, take creative risks, and it opens up more routes to financing."

Twist argued that the Government must at the very least retain the relief once the UK leaves the European Union (EU). "Ukie will be working to ensure that the games and wider interactive entertainment industries are at the forefront of negotiations, and will be lobbying to ensure the best regulatory and tax environment for our sector is secured," she stressed.

Twist's comments were echoed by Jason Kingsley, Chair of TIGA, the games industry association. He said: "Video Games Tax Relief is encouraging investment, employment, and research and development. In a post-Brexit world it will be important to retain and strengthen Video Games Tax Relief in order to attract external investment and to maintain the competitiveness of the sector. Brexit means that the UK can reform and improve Games Tax Relief."

TAGS: tax | investment | corporation tax | United Kingdom | tax credits | cultural heritage | tax authority | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | tax breaks | trade association | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | trade | European Union (EU) | services | research and development | Europe | Tax

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