New statistics from HMRC show £180 million of Video Games Tax Relief was paid out to video games companies in the year ending March 2021

By August 25, 2021 Industry News

HM Revenue and Customs have published their Official Statistics on the Creative industries for August 2021.

Statistics are provided on the number of productions claiming tax relief, the amounts of expenditure, the number of tax relief claims and amounts claimed, and the number of claims by the size of the claim. This publication reports on the years up to 31 March 2021.

The data provides information on the creative industries tax reliefs for film, high-end television, animation, video games, children’s television, theatre, orchestra, and museums and galleries exhibitions, covering the years up to 31 March 2021.

Key findings include that in the year ending March 2021, a total of £1.31 billion was paid out across all creative industries tax reliefs. This is an increase of £1.11 billion from the previous year. Film tax relief accounts for nearly half of the total amount paid out and high-end television tax relief accounts for almost 30% of the total.

Video games tax relief

Video games tax relief (VGTR) was introduced in 2014, it allows qualifying video games companies to make a deduction in their taxable profits or to surrender a loss for a payable tax credit. A game can make several tax relief claims throughout its production, a claim may also cover several games. TIGA is the only organisation that has consistently campaigned for VGTR. See more of our work on VGTR here.

Since VGTR was introduced in 2014, 1,640 games have made claims, with a UK expenditure of £4.4 billion. A total of £624 million has been paid since the relief was introduced.

New records were set in the year following March 2020, including a 48% increase in the amount of VGTR. £180 million of VGTR was paid in response to 350 claims, representing 640 games compared to £121m of relief of 610 titles in 2019 to 2020.

The majority of these claims tend to be for smaller amounts, with 47% of all claims being for £50,000 or less; however, these claims are only responsible for 2% of the total amount paid out. Claims over £500,000 account for 87% of the total amount paid out. This proportion has increased from the previous year. In the year ending March 2021, only 9% of the claims were for amounts over £500,000, but these account for 63% of the total amount paid out.



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