Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

Film Tax Relief

Film Tax Relief (FTR) is one of the UK government’s creative industry tax relief incentives.

FTR supports Film Production Companies (FPCs) by offering a tax rebate against the money spent on the film’s pre-production, principal photography and post-production.

Film Tax Relief

Guide Overview


Below are six simple sections to help you understand what Film Tax Relief (FTR) is, how it works and whether you’re eligible.

What is Film Tax Relief (FTR)?


Film Tax Relief (FTR) is one of the UK government’s creative industry tax relief incentives.

FTR supports Film Production Companies (FPCs) by offering a tax rebate against the money spent on the film’s pre-production, principal photography and post-production.

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How much Film Tax Relief can I claim?


Film Production Companies can claim up to 20% of the core production costs of the film. FPCs can claim FTR on the lower of:

  • 80% of the total core expenditure
  • The actual EEA core expenditure incurred

If the company is profitable, the tax relief can be used to reduce a Corporation Tax bill. Loss-making claimants can receive a cash payment from HMRC at a rate of 25%.

Am I eligible for Film Tax Relief?


Film Production Companies must meet the following criteria to qualify for Film Tax Relief;

  1. Your company must be responsible for the production, planning and decision making during the pre-production, principal photography and post-production stages for the film.
  2. The film is classified as “British” by the BFI Certification Unit or qualifies as an official co-production.
  3. The film is intended for theatrical release.
  4. At least 10% of your core production costs must relate to activities in the UK.

There are several conditions to these criteria, so it’s best to check with the experts, Myriad Associates, to ensure you meet the criteria.

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What costs can be claimed for Film Tax Relief?


If you meet the above FTR criteria,

you can claim on the expenditure for the pre-production, principal photography and post-production, referred to as core expenditure.

This excludes development, distribution and other non-production activities.

"Barrie & his team at Myriad Associates have provided a great service to us for a VGTR claim. They've been professional, knowledgeable, well-coordinated and have communicated well throughout the process. We would highly recommend their specialist knowledge."

Antonio Gould

Executive Director, Teach Monster Games

What is the Film Tax Relief claim process?


Film Tax Relief is claimed by the film production company for each accounting period through the Corporation Tax Self-Assessment process (CTSA). The Film Production Company must complete the relevant section on the Corporation Tax Return (CT600).

The tax return must also be accompanied by the required supplementary information and either an interim or final certificate issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirming that this film is British.

You must provide a statement that shows all core expenditure broken down by category and by UK and non-UK spending.

You’ll need to calculate if the film has made a profit or loss and determine whether any loss can be surrendered for a cash tax credit.

HMRC has a specific approach for calculating the taxable profit or loss of a film production trade.

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How can we help?


Myriad Associates is a leading R&D Tax Credit & Grant Funding consultancy that employs Film Tax Relief application specialists, qualified cost accountants and corporate tax experts.

Our specialist team has a 100% success rate in delivering maximum claims for UK production companies.

About Myriad Associates
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  • Confident of delivering value to our clients, we offer our Film Tax Relief services on a success fee-only basis.
  • We handle your claim from start to finish, taking up just two to three hours of your time.
  • Our expert consultants can identify all of your qualifying projects and all your eligible expenses, including costs often missed by accountants and in-house teams.
  • We make sure HMRC handles your claim promptly, due to our close working relationship with all HMRC R&D Tax Credit units and our right-first-time approach.
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Our results

  • We have a 100% success rate spanning 19 years, which means HMRC has processed all of our claims on time and in full.
  • We are a trusted and respected advisor to our many delighted clients with an industry high customer retention rate.
  • We have achieved exceptional results by resubmitting claims that were originally filed by the client. 
  • We have a first class reputation delivering maximised Film tax relief claims.

Frequently asked questions


Film Tax Relief (FTR), is a creative industry tax relief incentive, funded by the UK government.

FTR supports UK Film Production Companies by offering them a tax rebate against the money they spend on the pre-production, principal photography and post-production of a new film.

The tax relief works by deeming that the making of each film is a separate trade and specifies when that trade begin and ends.

It sets out the income and expenditure to be included in determining the profits and losses of that trade.

The company can then claim an additional deduction in calculating its taxable profits and where that additional deduction results in a loss, this loss can be surrendered for a payable tax credit.

Film Tax Relief is worth up to 20% of the core production costs of a film. Film Production Companies can claim FTR on whichever is lower:

  • 80% of the total core expenditure
  • The actual UK core expenditure incurred

If the film is profitable, the Film Tax Relief can be used to reduce a Corporation Tax bill. If the film makes a loss, claimants can receive a cash payment from HMRC at a rate of 25%.

You can claim film tax relief on your film if:

  • It has been certified as British by the British Film Institute (BFI).  This is achieved via a cultural test completed online.
  • The film is intended for theatrical release. This means exhibition to the paying public at the commercial cinema.
  • At least 25% of the core expenditure on the film must relate to activities in the UK.
  • In the case of a co-production the 25% expenditure condition is applied to expenditure incurred by all the co-producers.

The legislation defines a film as “any record, however made, of a sequence of visual images that is capable of being used as a means of showing that sequence as a moving image.”

Film Tax Relief is claimed by the film production company for each accounting period through the Corporation Tax Self-Assessment process (CTSA). The Film Production Company must complete the relevant section on the Corporation Tax Return (CT600).

The tax return must also be accompanied by the required supplementary information and either an interim or final certificate issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirming that this film is British.

You must provide a statement that shows all core expenditure broken down by category and by UK and non-UK spending.

You’ll need to calculate if the film has made a profit or loss and determine whether any loss can be surrendered for a cash tax credit.

HMRC has a specific approach for calculating the taxable profit or loss of a film production trade.

A Film Production Company (FPC) is the company that actually makes a film. This may sound obvious, but the purpose of the tax relief is to support film production activity rather than its creative gestation.

In order to qualify as a film production company, the company must be responsible for the:

  • Pre-production;
  • Principal photography;
  • Post-production;
  • Delivery of the film on completion.

There can not be more than one film production company per film.

If your film is produced under the terms of an international co-production agreement between two or more countries or authorities, you can access support provided to national films in each of the co-producing countries. This includes tax relief where available.

The co-production must be certified as a British film by meeting the requirements of one of the UK’s international bilateral co-production agreements or the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production (ECCC).

If your film does not meet these terms, it will not be treated as a co-production for the purposes of FTR and therefore can only be certified as British by meeting the requirements of the BFI Cultural Test, Schedule 1 of the Films Act 1985.

There are three ways in which a film can be classified as British. Firstly, it can pass the cultural test as set by the British Film Institute (BFI). Secondly, it can meet the terms of one of the UK’s bilateral co-production treaties. Finally, it can meet the terms of the European Convention on Cinematic Co-Production.

In each case the film must be formally certified. Reach out to Myriad to find out the best way for your Film Production Company to complete this step.

If you want to claim Film Tax Relief, your film must be certified as British under one of the three ways described above.  If your film is not a co-production, you must pass the British Film Institute (BFI) cultural test to receive certification.

To pass the BFI cultural test, you must complete an online application form for each film you want to claim FTR for. The BFI will assess your application and award points based on the cultural content of the film, its cultural contribution, its cultural hubs, and its cultural practitioners. To pass the test, each amination programme must score at least 18 out of a possible 35 points.

In addition to completing an application form for each film, a Statutory Declaration to certify the truth of the particulars in the application is also required.

The Statutory Declaration can be made before a practising solicitor, a general notary, a Justice of the Peace, or any other officer authorised by law to administer a statutory declaration under the Statutory Declaration Act 1835.

Other supporting documents are also required for the BFI to assess the application. These are shooting scripts, synopsis of the screenplay, shooting schedule, production budget/final cost report, chain of title (if applicable), a copy of the film if complete, and an Accountants Report in certain circumstances.

An Accountant’s report is required if an application for a final certificate relies upon points in Section C and/or Section D of the cultural test. The Accountant’s Report must be prepared by a person who is eligible for appointment as a company auditor under Section 1212 of the Companies Act 2006.

Myriad Associates employs BFI application specialists that can help you pass this test. Contact us for advice. 

The Accountant's Report is required when an application is claiming points in Section C and/or Section D.

The purpose of the accountant’s report is to verify the total and UK expenditure of the work in Section C and the nationality or residence of all persons in Section D.

The Accountant's Report must be prepared by a person who is eligible for appointment as a company auditor under section 1212 of the Companies Act 2006.

An Accountant’s Report can cost between £500 and £2,000 per application, depending on the film’s costs and the number of applications you’re submitting.

The BFI cultural test regulations require you to make a statutory declaration which states that the information you’ve given in your application is true.

A statutory declaration is required for both the Interim and Final certifications.

The statutory declaration must be made either before a practising solicitor, general notary, Justice of the Peace or an officer authorised by law to administer a statutory declaration under the Statutory Declaration Act 1835.

You can apply for both Film Tax Relief and R&D Tax Credits. However, you may only claim a given project cost against one of these schemes, not both.

In certain cases, you can maximise your overall tax relief by applying to both schemes and claiming specific costs against each scheme on a project-by-project basis.

Myriad Associates can help you with this. To maximise your tax relief, we’ll study your projects, assess your costs and establish which project costs to claim under which scheme. Contact us for advice.

Non-core film expenditure relates to initial script viability activities or commercial exploitation of the film.

So, core expenditure excludes any expenditure incurred on development, distribution or other non-production activities.

Ineligible expenditure includes entertaining, publicity, promotion, audit fees, interest, completion bonds and other forms of insurance.

The amount of Film Tax Relief (FTR) to which a Film Production Company (FPC) is entitled in respect of a film production trade is determined by the amount of core expenditure which relates to activity undertaken in the UK.

Where a film is partly produced in the UK and partly outside of the UK it will follow that some goods and services may be non-UK. In such cases, it will be necessary to make an apportionment of the relevant core expenditure between UK and non-UK expenditure.

This applies in the case of goods and services provided throughout core expenditure stages. That is, it applies to expenditure incurred during pre-production, principal photography and post-production.

The method for making an apportionment is not fixed and can be determined on a case-by-case basis. The key criterion is that it must be done on a fair and reasonable basis.

There will often be more than one ‘fair and reasonable’ basis. The requirement is not that the apportionment must be made using the fairest and most reasonable basis, but simply that it must be made on a basis that is fair and reasonable.

Does your business qualify?

Speak to our experts today to see if your activities qualify.

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Is your business registered for Corporation Tax in the UK or are you a partnership with corporate owners?

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Have you developed new or improved existing products, processes or services in the last 2 accounting periods?

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Have you incurred any R&D costs on staff, contractors and consumables?

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Does your business have fewer than 500 staff, and either: A turnover of no more than €100 million; or Gross assets of no more than €86 million?

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Sorry, you must be a UK limited company or be a Partnership with corporate owners to be eligible for R&D tax credits.

In order to qualify for R&D tax credits you must be seeking to advance science or technology within your industry. As you’ve not developed any new or improved any existing innovative tools, products or services, and not re-developed any existing products, processes or services in the last 2 years. It is unlikely you have any qualifying activity. If you’re unsure, email or call us and we’ll help clarify.

In order to claim R&D tax credits, you need to either employ staff or spend money on contractors, consumable items and other items. If you’re unsure, email or call us and we’ll help clarify.

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Congrats!! Based on your previous answers, you will qualify for the SME scheme. If you’d like some help maximising and securing your claim, please email or call us.

Congrats!! Based on your previous answers, you will qualify for the RDEC scheme. If you’d like some help maximising and securing your claim, please email or call us.

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