Record £850m of tax reliefs claimed by creative sector

TV hit ‘Peaky Blinders’ and Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill in the film ‘Darkest Hour’ are just two of dozens of examples from Britain’s world-leading creative sector to have benefited from over £850m of tax breaks in the last year, according to the latest HMRC statistics

There were 180 films completed in the UK in 2017-18 which claimed film tax relief (FTR), with UK expenditure of £893m. A total of £469m of FTR was paid out.

Since the relief was introduced in 2007, 2,420 films have made claims, accounting for £10.2bn of UK expenditure. Most of this year’s tax credit claims were paid to large-budget films, which received over £2bn of relief, while £721m of relief went to limited-budget films.

Sixty high-end television programmes completed in the UK in 2017-18 claimed high-end television tax relief (HTR), with UK expenditure of £612m. They received £184m of relief. Since the relief was introduced in 2013, 310 programmes have made claims, and a total of £563m has been paid out. HMRC say that since their respective introductions, 2,420 films, 310 TV productions and 480 videogames have benefited, and for the first time, orchestra tax relief has helped to showcase 205 musical productions across the UK.

The statistics show video games relief of £105m was given out last year, along with £13m to 15 animation film companies under the animation film relief, and 60 claims for orchestra tax relief totalling £6.6m.

Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘The UK’s world class creative industries – from films to video games to orchestras – are championing culture and innovation both at home and abroad.

‘We supported these vital businesses with a record £850m of tax relief last year, helping to boost growth across the country and contribute to the UK’s rich cultural fabric.’

There are eight creative sector tax reliefs in total, including support for children’s television programmes, museum and gallery exhibitions and theatre productions, as well as films and TV.

Creative Industries Statistics are here.

Creative industry tax relief information is here.

Report by Pat Sweet

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