Video games tax relief ― the cultural test

By Tolley

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

  • Video games tax relief ― the cultural test
  • Introduction
  • The video games cultural test
  • Making an application for certification
  • Practical considerations


In order to qualify for video games tax relief, the video game must be certified by the Secretary of State as a ‘British’ video game by demonstrating various connections to the UK or EEA. This guidance note sets out the provisions for the video games cultural test which are detailed in the Cultural Test (Video Games) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/1958. Further guidance and details of the pre-approval process are on the British Film Industry (BFI) website at The cultural test for video games .

CTA 2009, s1217CB
The video games cultural test

In order to satisfy the requirements of the cultural test, points are awarded based upon the level of UK / EEA connections a video game has. A video game passes the cultural test if it is awarded at least 16 points out of 31. Details of the precise scoring mechanism are set out in the Regulations; however, a summary of the relevant tests can be found below, based on the guidance published on the BFI website .

SI 2014/1958

In order to pass the cultural test, the video game must meet the following tests:

Section A ― cultural content
A1Set in the UK or an EEA state (up to three points will be awarded for set in an undetermined location)Up to four points

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