TIGA hails results of Video Games Tax Relief in UK

TIGA hails results of Video Games Tax Relief as HMRC releases first official stats since inception.

–      First release of official HMRC statistics on Video Games Tax Relief (GTR) show it supported UK expenditure of nearly half a billion pounds
–     TIGA calls for Government to increase the level of tax relief and consider abolition or reform of cultural test as we approach Brexit

London – 20th July, 2016 – TIGA today welcomes the first ever HMRC figures proving the success of Video Games Tax Relief (GTR). The figures show that since inception, GTR has stimulated 135 claims and supported UK expenditure of £417m.

In the light of its success, TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has called on the Government to retain and improve Video Games Tax Relief (GTR). For example, the Government could consider increasing the level of tax relief from 25 to 30 per cent to ensure that the UK’s relief remains ‘best in class’. The Government could also consider reforming or removing the cultural test currently required for games developers to qualify for GTR.

Currently, a game has to pass a cultural test in order to benefit from Games Tax Relief, which substantially reduces the cost of games development. The cultural test was introduced partly to promote the production of culturally British video games and partly to ensure compliance with EU State Aid rules which permit support for economic sectors on cultural grounds.

TIGA’s successful campaign for GTR enables the UK games development sector to be far more competitive with Canada and the USA, both of which provide tax relief and a range of incentives for games businesses at both a provincial and state level.

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO at TIGA, said: 

“Today’s figures show that Video Games Tax Relief is a key factor behind our industry’s progress and success. Games Tax Relief enables the UK video games industry to compete on a more level playing field against our overseas competitors. It is also increasing investment and creating jobs in our high technology, high skilled, high export sector.”

“Theresa May, our new PM, has spoken about the need for a proper industrial strategy. Creating a favourable tax system which enables the UK to compete effectively, which attracts investment and which creates jobs is a key aspect of an industrial strategy. Video Games Tax Relief is achieving these important goals.”

Jason Kingsley OBE, Chair of TIGA and CEO at Rebellion, said: 

“Video Games Tax Relief is encouraging investment, employment and R&D.  In a post Brexit world it will be important to retain and strengthen Video Games Tax Relief in order to attract external investment and to maintain the competitiveness of the sector. Brexit means that the UK can reform and improve Games Tax Relief.  TIGA looks forward to working with Ministers and policy makers to make Games Tax Relief even better.”

What is TIGA?

TIGA is the non-profit trade association representing the UK’s games industry. Its members include independent games developers, in-house publisher-owned developers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities.

TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. It does this through Government lobbying and maintaining a voice in the corridors of power at both the Westminster and Scottish parliament.

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