Television tax reliefs ― the cultural tests

Produced by Tolley
Television tax reliefs ― the cultural tests

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

  • Television tax reliefs ― the cultural tests
  • Introduction to the reliefs
  • The cultural tests
  • The Regulations
  • General points applying to each cultural test
  • The ‘old’ cultural test for high-end TV programmes
  • The ‘new’ cultural test for high-end TV programmes
  • The cultural test for animations
  • The cultural test for children’s TV programmes
  • Excluded programmes
  • More...

Introduction to the reliefs

Tax reliefs for the production of high-end television programmes and animations were introduced by FA 2013 and included in CTA 2009, ss 1216A–1216EC (Part 15A). The rules were extended by FA 2015, s 30 to provide relief for qualifying expenditure incurred on the production of children’s television programmes. The relief for each type of television programme is known as television tax relief (TTR). See the Television tax reliefs ― key provisions and Television tax reliefs ― the separate programme trade guidance notes for further information on the relief itself.

One of the criteria that must be satisfied in order to obtain TTR is that the high-end television programme, animation or children’s television programme must be certified as British by the Secretary of State of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The process of assessing programmes and certification is dealt with by the Certification Unit of the British Film Institute (BFI) on behalf of the DCMS. This guidance note summarises the cultural tests that must be met by a television production company and the processes involved in obtaining certification.

The cultural tests

The Regulations

Statutory Instrument 2013/1831 (Cultural Test (Television Programmes) Regulations 2013) (the ‘2013 Regulations’) first came into force on 13 August 2013, and set out the cultural tests applicable for high-end TV programmes in Regulation 3, and animations in Regulation 4.

Following the extension of TTR to children’s TV programmes, the 2013 Regulations were amended by SI 2015/1449 (The Cultural Test (Television Programmes) (Amendment) Regulations 2015) (‘the 2015 Amendment Regulations’) to include a new cultural test for children’s TV programmes in Regulation 4A. These ‘revised 2013 Regulations’ came into force on 23 July 2015 and can be found at the following link.

The revised 2013 Regulations also contain amendments to the cultural test for high-end TV programmes, effective from 23 July 2015. The old version of the cultural test for high-end TV programmes will continue to apply in certain circumstances alongside

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