The UK’s new TV tax credit for approved productions in the UK are going down a storm with production companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

One of the key draws to working on productions in the UK, aside from the financial incentives, is the large pool of experienced crew and actors based in the UK.

TV production incentives were first introduced in Northern Ireland and attracted the popular “Game of Thrones” series. This provided the inspiration for the wider offer to the UK as a whole.

The “High-end Television Tax Relief” (HTR) is available if the following conditions are met:

  • the programme passes the cultural test – a similar test to that for FTR but within the European Economic Area
  • the programme is intended for broadcast
  • the programme is a drama, comedy or documentary
  • at least 25% of the total production costs relate to activities in the UK
  • the average qualifying production costs per hour of production length is not less than £1million per hour
  • the slot length in relation to the programme must be greater than 30 minutes

Programmes commissioned together are treated as 1 programme.

However, your company can't claim HTR if the programme:

  • is an advertisement or promotional programme
  • is a news, current affairs or discussion programme
  • is a quiz or game show, panel show, variety show, or similar programme
  • consists of or includes an element of competition or contest
  • broadcasts live events, including theatrical and artistic performance
  • is produced for training purposes

The availability of this relief has reversed the previous outflow of investment from the UK in this type of TV production.

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