Jessica Fino 21 Jul 2017 05:12pm

Record number of film tax relief claims paid by HMRC

HMRC has received 630 film tax relief claims in 2016-17, paying a record of £415m to the UK film industry

This was an increase of 23% from 2015-16, when the Revenue received 535 claims.

According to HMRC’s creative industries statistics, a total of £2.3bn has been paid out to meet claims since the current film tax relief was introduced in 2007, of which over £1.6bn were tax credit claims paid to large-budget films and over £630m to limited-budget films.

Film tax relief allows qualifying companies to make a deduction in their taxable profits, and those which don’t make a profit can surrender the tax relief for a payable tax credit.

In 2016-17, HMRC paid £46m in theatre tax relief to 1,570 productions of which 490 were touring and 1,080 were non-touring.

Dan Robertson, a tax partner in RSM’s technology, media and telecoms team said, “The UK already has a thriving creative industry sector and it’s clear that these tax reliefs are proving ever more popular. We’ve recently seen a number of Hollywood blockbusters being filmed in UK studios, which suggests that an increasing number of film-makers are recognising the attractiveness of the UK as a place to make films.

“However, in times of public spending pressure, these tax reliefs can always be under review. It is to be hoped that the government recognises the value of these reliefs, and the economic benefits that they bring.”

The report also showed that high-end HMRC paid £480m in television tax relief, £38m in animations, £163m in video games, and £25m in children’s television tax relief.