Video games tax relief ― the cultural test

Produced by Tolley
Video games tax relief ― the cultural test

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

  • Video games tax relief ― the cultural test
  • Introduction
  • The video games cultural test
  • Section A ― cultural content
  • Section B ― cultural contribution
  • Section C ― cultural hubs
  • Section D ― personnel
  • Making an application for certification
  • Pre-approval process
  • Online application
  • More...


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.

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.

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
A2Lead characters British, EEA citizens or residents (or characters from an undetermined location)Up to four points
A3Video game based on British subject matter, relates to an EEA state or underlying materialFour points
A4Original dialogue recorded in the English language or one of the eight recognised regional or minority languages

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