UK games tax relief extended to 2023

European Commission renotifies tax incentive scheme, granting another six years of support for British developers

The European Commission has extended the availability of tax relief for UK games firms to 2023.

In an online listing confirming the prologation of the initiative, the EC reveals tax relief will be available to games developers based in Britain - or working on a culturally British video game - until March 31st, 2023.

Video games tax relief were finally introduced in April 2014 after a hard-fought campaign from trade bodies and various developers based around the nation. Since then, hundreds of games have been certified for tax credits.

In the first nine months of 2017 alone, 161 new titles were approved and tax relief has reportedly driven £160m in total budget spend during this period. Back in June, it was reported that more than £73m has been paid out to developers over the course of the last year.

Both UKIE and TIGA have praised the European Commission's decision.

"The Video Games Tax Relief has provided a real boost to the UK games sector and the UK's economy," says UKIE CEO Jo Twist. "Having confirmation that the VGTR can continue to operate until at least 2023 is fantastic news, providing some much needed confidence to the UK games sector and maintaining a key competitive advantage for British studios."

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson added: "Today's statistics clearly show that the UK video games industry is seeing strong, sustained momentum. We are delighted that VGTR is continuing to be such a success, supporting a gaming sector which is leading the charge in the UK creative industries.

"With the advent of Brexit, it is more important than ever for the UK Government to retain and potentially enhance Video Games Tax Relief, strengthen education and training and enable businesses to continue to recruit highly skilled people from the EU and the rest of the world. This will enable the UK games development sector to remain world-leading."

Video games tax relief allows developers or other games firms to claim back up to 20% of their production costs if the project meets certain conditions. Altara Games' Ella Romanos shared her advice on how to make the most of them earlier this year.

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