UK Tax Relief for Television

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

On 1 April 2013, the Government introduced tax reliefs for high end television programmes and animated television programmes. From 1st April 2015 the reliefs have been extended to children’s programming, the minimum UK expenditure requirement has been reduced to 10% and a proposal has been made to modernise the cultural test.

These tax reliefs were heavily modelled on the enormously successful UK's film tax credit regime. The television production company is entitled to enhanced tax losses which it can either surrender for a payable cash tax credit or use such losses to mitigate UK corporation tax liabilities. The payable tax credit is in an amount equal to 25% of qualifying expenditure (being the lower of 80% of total core expenditure or actual UK expenditure). As is the case with the film tax relief, television programmes will only be able to benefit from the new tax reliefs provided they satisfy a cultural test or qualify as British under the terms of an official co-production treaty and meet certain other eligibility criteria.

The tax reliefs are designed to not only encourage the production of high end television programmes and animated television programmes in the UK, but also to encourage inward investment from overseas.

For more information, view our "UK Tax Relief for Television" report.