UK games tax relief delayed

European Commission unable to approve required cultural test

The UK government has delayed plans for tax relief in the games sector.

The European Commission has been unable to approve the Cultural Test required for tax relief, required under European law.

UK trade body UKIE said it was "disappointed" with the delay, but fully expects the government to remain committed to tax breaks for games developers.

"We were prepared for this as it was always a possibility when establishing an entirely new European tax scheme, especially as games are so different to film and TV," commented Jo Twist, CEO of UKIE.

"We are confident of the government's commitment to implementing the tax breaks as soon as possible. But we hope that the delay will be a short one and shall now be doing everything that we can, working with UK government, the European Commission and TIGA, to get the state aid approval that we need as soon as possible. They absolutely will still happen."

The delay was revealed as part of the UK budget today, in which the Chancellor announced a further £10 million will be made available to the creative industries over the next two years.

That funding pot now totals £16 million, with the games industry portion administered by the Video Game Skills Council, chaired by UKIE's vice chairman Ian Livingstone.

The Chancellor also announced a further drop in corporation tax and improved rates of relief for above the line R&D tax claims.

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Latest comments (7)

Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago
If there was one stumbling block to this being implemented, I knew it would be this one.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development9 years ago
They dropped CT again, that's all I care about tbh. Corporation Tax is actually a thing, whereas as rebates or reliefs come and go with the "can i be arsed" factor.
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Gareth Eckley Commercial Analyst 9 years ago
Given the number of people involved with the whole process and the paltry sum of money (less than one AAA game development budget), this doesn't seem very meaningful.
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Show all comments (7)
Anthony Gowland Director, Ant Workshop9 years ago
Yeah but they've lowered tax on beer, so that's kind of like supporting the games industry.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee9 years ago
Yup, corporation tax drop will be a potentially very positive thing.
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Daniel Hill Marketing and Business Development 9 years ago
Am I the only one concerned that the CEO of UKIE is saying "games are so different to film and TV"? I hope she's talking about how they're treated legislatively and fiscally, as opposed to how they are perceived culturally, because after all aren't we all working towards further mainstream acceptance of games as an art form?
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Games - i.e Interactive media is just one aspect of the spectrum of the entertainment industry. Its not too dissimilar from film or animation.
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