TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has called for the Government to ensure that Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) is processed speedily and efficiently to allow video games businesses to keep up and running throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Video Games Tax Relief has been available to UK games companies since April 2014, and applications for it have grown each year. According to HMRC, since the introduction of Video Games Tax Relief, £324 million has been paid out in response to 1,110 claims. A total of 1,075 video games productions have claimed Video Games Tax Relief, accounting for over £2.6 billion of UK expenditure. TIGA’s research shows that VGTR has enabled the games development sector to grow employment by over 8 per cent per annum. These figures reinforce the importance of VGTR to the success and continued growth of the video games businesses in the UK.
However, following feedback from TIGA members, it is apparent that there are inconsistencies in the amount of time being taken to process VGTR for different businesses. Some firms face delays of up to four months for their Video Games Tax Relief to be processed, causing huge cash flow problems within the businesses.
Amongst the other obstacles that the industry faces in the wake of COVID-19, delays in the processing of VGTR could be very damaging for some games businesses in the UK. Conversely, prompt processing and payment of claims will improve cashflow and enable more games businesses to remain in operation. TIGA has therefore asked the Government to ensure that VGTR claims are dealt with efficiently and to provide clarity on the timeframe of the processing of VGTR for video games companies in the UK.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA, said:
“VGTR has increased investment and employment, enabled more studios to self-publish their own IP and has enabled the UK games industry to compete more effectively.
“Feedback from some TIGA members indicate delays in the processing of VGTR for some games businesses. VGTR is vital to the sector and has a positive impact on studios’ cashflow.
If the Government can ensure that VGTR claims are processed efficiently and paid promptly, then games businesses will be in a stronger financial position to endure the Coronavirus storm.”