Film production company tax credits

Produced by Tolley

The following Corporation Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Film production company tax credits
  • Introduction
  • Qualifying companies
  • Conditions for the film tax relief
  • Intended theatrical release
  • British film
  • UK expenditure condition (CTA 2009, s 1198)
  • Additional deduction
  • Used or consumed
  • Surrenderable Loss
  • More...

Film production company tax credits


Finance Act 1996 introduced a special regime for film production companies, now included in CTA 2009, ss 1188–1216. In addition, the legislation provides for qualifying films to receive an additional tax deduction in respect on the production company's expenditure on production of a film. This enhancement is up to 80% of qualifying expenditure on the film production.

This additional deduction can be set off against future taxable profits or, if the company wants to, be surrendered in exchange for a payment to the company by HMRC. This payment is worth up to 20% of the film production costs. As indicated below, it will nearly always be beneficial to make the election and surrender the loss and receive the payment.

The purpose of the tax credit was to encourage the making of films by UK companies and to replace the previous discredited regime of relief under Finance Act (No 2) 1992, s 42 and Finance Act (No 2) 1997, s 48. These reliefs had sometimes resulted in tax relief for investors in artificial tax schemes.

Such has been the success of the new regime introduced by Finance Act 1996 that the legislation has been largely replicated in the new separate tax regimes for companies producing television, animation and most recently, children’s television programmes. See the Television tax reliefs ― key provisions guidance note for further details.

Qualifying companies

The tax legislation dealing with the additional deduction for corporation tax purposes follows on from the rules governing the taxation of film production companies. See the Taxation of Film Production Companies guidance note for details on the meaning of a FPC producing a qualifying film. The legislation is at CTA 2009, ss 1181–1182.

Note that the additional deduction applies to corporation tax only. For UK companies and non-resident companies with a permanent establishment in the UK, see the Residence of companies and the Permanent establishment guidance notes for further explanation.

Conditions for the film tax relief

Aside from being

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