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How to claim VGTR before your game is complete

Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) allows you to get back up to 20% for your game’s core expenditure, and you don’t have to wait for the game’s development to be complete.

Chris Dowsett

Manager, Tax Incentives UK & IE


4 minute read

If your game is still in development but you want to benefit from VGTR you can apply for an interim certificate. Interim Certificates are valid for 3 years. You can reapply for an interim certificate if your game is still in development beyond this period. You will also need to apply for a final certificate once the game is complete.

How to claim Video Games Tax Relief

An essential requirement for claiming VGTR is ensuring that your game is certified as a British video game by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), as administered by the British Film Institute (BFI). To become certified, you will need to complete and pass the cultural test. The test has 4 sections, and your application must score at least 16 out of 31 available points to qualify as a British video game and therefore be eligible to claim VGTR. 

VGTR is a cumulative scheme, meaning you can wait to claim the relief from HMRC until the accounting year in which your game has been released to the public. If your game is due to be completed within a few months, then it is usually better to wait and apply directly for a final certificate, to avoid duplicated effort and cost. 

The applications for the BFI cultural test for video games can be made online via the BFI portal

Once you have received the certificate you can make a VGTR claim as part of the company’s tax return.  Each qualifying Game must be treated a as separate trade when reporting to HMRC.  This is a complicated area and we would recommend that you contact a VGTR tax specialist, however further information can be found in the VGTR HMRC Manual

Do you qualify for VGTR

To apply for VGTR your company needs to be responsible for the majority of game’s planning, designing, developing, testing and producing development and design decisions; registered for UK corporation tax, responsible of the game. At least 25% of the eligible cost must have been incurred within the European Economic Area. 

You can find more detail on the criteria needed in our e-book How to Apply for Video Games Tax Relief. 

Myriad Associates cut out the stress as well as the process of a claim by completing BFI applications, preparing the HMRC tax computations as well as more importantly making sure that your claim is maximised. 

We are trusted by clients because it isn’t just a transactional service, it is a consultation from start to finish and with this being one of the most complex areas of tax law, you want to make sure that you are doing it correctly.

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