Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

High-End TV Tax Relief

High-End Television Tax Relief  is a creative industry tax relief incentive, funded by the UK government and is worth up to 20% of the core production costs of an animation project. Read our helpful guide below to learn more.

High-End TV Tax Relief

Guide Overview


Below are six simple sections to help you understand what High-End Television Tax Relief (HTTR) is, how it works and whether you’re eligible.

What is High-End Television Tax Relief (HTTR)?


High-End Television Tax Relief is a creative industry tax relief incentive, funded by the UK government.

It offers Television Production Companies (TPCs) a tax rebate against the money spent on the pre-production, principal photography and post production.

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How much HTTR can I claim?


High-End Television Tax Relief is worth up to 20% of the core production costs of the piece. TPCs can claim HTTR on the lower of:

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

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

Am I eligible for High-End Television Tax Relief?


To qualify for HTTR, you need to meet the following criteria:

  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 programme passes the cultural test or qualifies as an official co-production.
  3. The programme is a drama, comedy or documentary with an average core expenditure of at least £1m per hour of slot length and the slot length of the programme is greater than 30 minutes.
  4. The programme is intended for broadcast to the general public, this includes streaming online
  5. At least 10% of your total production costs relate to activities in the UK.

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

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What costs can be claimed for High-End Television Tax Relief?


If you meet the above HTTR criteria then;

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 High-End Television Tax Relief claims process?


High-End Television Tax Relief is claimed as part of the Company Tax Return (CT600) that is filed with HMRC. To make an HTTR claim, you’ll need to be registered as a company and have the following documents:

  • Your BFI cultural certificate to prove your programme qualifies as “British”.
  • Statements that show your core expenditure, broken down by category and by UK and non-UK spending.
  • A profit and loss account for each programme produced (each programme needs to be reported to HMRC as a separate trade, where appropriate criteria is met a series may be considered a single programme for the purpose of tax reporting).
  • You’ll need to calculate if your programme has made a profit or a loss and determine whether your HTTR claim should be surrendered as a loss for a cash repayment or used to reduce your tax bill.

HMRC has a specific approach for calculating the taxable profit and loss of a Television Production Company (TPC).  There are restrictions for the way losses can be used and these will vary depending on if the programme is finished and trade has ceased.

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How can we help?


Myriad Associates is a leading R&D Tax Credit & Grant Funding consultancy that employs High-End Television 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
VGTR Video
  • Confident of delivering value to our clients, we offer our High-End Television 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  animation tax relief claims.

Frequently asked questions


Under the definition for High-End television tax relief, a co-production is a programme that is produced under the terms of an international co-production agreement between two or more countries or authorities.

In the UK, such programmes are made under:

  • a bilateral co-production treaty, or
  • the European Convention on Cinematic Co-production.

The advantage of a programme being made as an official co-production is that each producer can access the support on offer within their respective countries, including tax relief where available.

To benefit from High-End television tax relief there must also be;

  • a UK production company responsible for all UK elements of the production from beginning to completion.
  • corresponding production companies in the other co-producing party countries
  • Minimum UK spend must be at least 10% of programme’s total core expenditure

If you want to claim High-End Television Tax Relief, your high-end television programme must be certified as British. To receive this certification, you must pass the British Film Institute (BFI) cultural test.

To pass the BFI cultural test, you must complete an online application form for each high-end television programme you want to claim HTTR for. If the programme is intended as a series, you can make one application to cover all episodes within the series. The BFI will assess your application and award points based on the cultural content of the programme, its cultural contribution, its cultural hubs, and its cultural practitioners. To pass the test, each high-end television programme must score at least 18 out of a possible 35 points.

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

The cultural test for high-end television programmes is set out in The Cultural Test (Television Programmes) but for more information, feel free to contact us.

In addition to completing an application form for each high-end television programme, 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.

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.

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 programme’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 High-End Television 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 high-end television programme expenditure relates to initial design stage activities or commercial exploitation of the programme.

For example, initial concept artwork used as part of the process of establishing the commercial viability is not core expenditure and not eligible for HTTR.  Marketing a high-end television programme isn’t classed as development expenditure and is not, therefore, core expenditure.

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

The amount of High-End Television Tax Relief (HTTR) to which a Television Production Company (TPC) is entitled in respect of a high-end television programme trade is determined by the amount of core expenditure which relates to activity undertaken in the UK.

Where a television programme 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.

Contact the HTTR team today.

High-End Television Tax Relief (HTTR), is a creative industry tax relief incentive, funded by the UK government.

HTTR supports UK television 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 television programme.

High-End Television Tax Relief is worth up to 20% of the core production costs of a television programme. Television production companies can claim HTTR on whichever is lower:

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

If the television programme is profitable, the High-End Television Tax Relief can be used to reduce a Corporation Tax bill. If the television programme makes a loss, claimants can receive a cash payment from HMRC at a rate of 25%.

You can claim High-End television tax relief on your programme if;

  • it has been certified as British by the British Film Institute (BFI). This is achieved via a cultural test completed online.
  • The television programme is intended for broadcast, which includes streaming online, at the commencement of production activities
  • The programme is a drama, comedy or documentary with an average core expenditure of at least £1m per hour and a slot length in greater than 30 minutes
  • At least 10% of the core costs relate to activities in the UK

For the purpose of the tax relief a television programme is defined as;

“any programme (with or without sounds) which-

  • is produced to be seen on television (including the internet) and
  • consists of moving or still images or of legible text or of a combination of those things”

There is a list of excluded programmes.  If your programme falls into one of these categories, it will does not qualify for the animation tax relief.

  • advertisements or other promotional material
  • news or current affairs programmes or discussion programmes
  • any quiz show, game show, panel show, variety show, chat show or similar entertainment
  • a programme that consists of or includes a competition or contest or announces the results of a competition or contest
  • a children’s programme may consist of or include a competition or contest as long as the total prizes do not exceed £1,000. As a series of programmes commissioned together constitutes a single programme this limit will apply to the series. 
  • any broadcast of live events or of theatrical or artistic performance given otherwise than for the purpose of being filmed
  • any programme produced for training purposes

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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