Film Tax Relief

What is Film Tax Relief?

The current Film Tax Relief (FTR) scheme was introduced in 2006 and applies to Film Production Companies (FPC) engaged in the making of:

  • A British Film
  • That is intended for theatrical release
  • Where at least 10% of core expenditure relates to the UK

If the conditions are met then the FPC can claim an additional deduction in computing their taxable profits and, where this results in a loss, surrender that loss for a payable tax credit

How does FTR work?

FTR works by enhancing expenditure incurred in the development process and creates an additional deduction to be set against the profit or, where it extends or creates a loss, allows that loss to be surrendered to HMRC for a payable tax credit thus providing the company with either a reduction in their corporation tax liability or a repayable tax credit.

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A company will qualify if:

It qualifies as the Film Production Company (FPC)

To qualify as the FPC it must:

  • Be incorporated in the UK or have a UK permanent establishment that falls within the charge to UK corporation tax.
  • Be actively engaged in production, planning and decision making during the pre-production, principal photography and postproduction stages of the film
  • Directly negotiate contract and pay for rights, goods and services relating to the film.

A film will qualify if:

Passing the BFI Cultural Test:

The BFI Cultural Test is points-based, with sections relating to content, cultural contribution, location, and cast and crew.

Projects need to achieve at least 18 from a possible 35 points.

The sections are:

  • Cultural content
  • Cultural contribution
  • Cultural hubs
  • Cultural practitioners

For further guidance:

https://www.bfi.org.uk/supporting-uk-film/british-certification-tax-relief/cultural-test-film

Qualifying as an official Co-production:

  • There must be a UK production company responsible for all UK elements of the production from beginning to completion.
  • There must also be corresponding production companies in the other co-producing party countries
  • There must be a co-producer in each country, and an application lodged in each country
  • Films, including those made under official co-production treaties, must reach a minimum UK spend requirement of 10%.

The UK currently has eleven active bilateral treaties. http://www.bfi.org.uk/film-industry/british-certification-tax-relief/co-production

Which expenditure qualifies for enhancement?

Expenditure qualifying for enhancement is called Core expenditure and includes expenditure incurred on:

  • Pre-production
  • Principal photography
  • Post-production
  • Non-qualifying or non-core expenditure include costs relating to:
  • Development
  • Distribution
  • Other non-production activities

How is FTR claimed?

FTR is claimed through the Company Tax system which means that claims must be made within a Company Tax Return or an amendment to a Company Tax Return.

Claims must include computations in respect of all qualifying productions and detail the income received and the expenditure incurred.

The expenditure should be split between core and non-core and information should be provided of any apportionments used. 

As specialists in Film Tax Relief, we are here to help you achieve the maximum benefit available whilst making the process as simple as possible.

Want to find out more? Call us on
01275 867350 to start the conversation.