Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

Video Games Tax Relief

Save up to 20% of your production costs with Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR). With a 100% success record, Myriad Associates will make sure you maximise your claim. It’s quick, simple and fuss-free.

Video Games Tax Relief

Guide Overview


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

What is Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR)?


Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR), also known as the UK Games Tax Relief Scheme, is a creative industry tax relief incentive, funded by the UK government.

VGTR supports UK game developers by offering them a tax rebate against the money they spend on the design, production and testing of a new video game.

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How much VGTR can I claim?


Video Games Tax Relief is worth up to 20% of the core production costs of a game. Game developers can claim VGTR on whichever is lower:

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

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

How to qualify for Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR)


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

  1. Your company must be responsible for most of the planning, designing, developing, testing, and production of the video game and, therefore, be known as the Video Games Development Company (VGDC).
  2. The video game must be intended for commercial release, but not created for advertising, promotion, or gambling (within the meaning of the Gambling Act 2005) purposes.
  3. The video game should qualify as “British” under the British Film Institute (BFI) Video Games Cultural Test.
  4. At least 25% of your video game production costs must have been incurred within the European Economic Area (EEA).
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What devices are eligible for Video Games Tax Relief?


If you meet the above VGTR criteria, and your video game can be played on any one of the following devices, you could be entitled to Video Games Tax Relief:

  • PC’s
  • Televisions
  • Smartphones or other mobile devices
  • Tablets
  • Video consoles or other handheld portable devices

What are the 4 key benefits of Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR)?

On top of reimbursing game developers with up to 20% of their core video game production costs, Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) also provides the following four benefits.

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Competitive edge

The gaming industry is competitive.  VGTR funding cuts the cost of development so you can charge less for your titles, while investing more in quality, variety, and marketing.

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Fast pay-out

If all goes to plan, you should receive your Video Games Tax Relief within four to ten weeks of filing your claim. It’s not only quicker than trying to secure outside investment, it’s much, much easier.

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Full control

Secure the investment you need to develop your video game by applying for VGTR funding. Remain in full control, maintain all your voting rights and receive a higher percentage of your company’s profits.

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Less risk

Developing a new game and taking it to market is a huge risk. Video Games Tax Relief offsets that risk by offering you a tax rebate against your production spend.

"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

Does your business qualify?

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

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What is the Video Games Tax Relief claims process?


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

  • Your BFI cultural certificate to prove your game qualifies as “British”.
  • Statements that show your core expenditure, broken down by category and by EEA and non-EEA spending.
  • A profit and loss account for each video game produced (each game needs to be reported to HMRC as a separate trade).

You’ll need to calculate if your video game has made a profit or a loss and determine whether your VGTR 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 Video Games Development Company (VGDC). There are restrictions for the way losses can be used and these will vary depending on if the video game is finished and trade has ceased.

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How can we help?


Myriad Associates is a leading UK VGTR consultancy that employs BFI application specialists, qualified cost accountants and corporate tax experts.

Our specialist VGTR team has a 100% success rate in delivering maximum VGTR for UK game development companies, regardless of size.

About Myriad Associates
VGTR Video
  • Confident of delivering value to our clients, we offer our VGTR services on a success fee-only basis.
  • We handle your VGTR 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 and BFI handles your claim promptly, due to our close working relationship with all HMRC R&D Tax Credit units, the BFI team 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 VGTR claims that were originally filed by the client. 
  • We are a Ukie member and have a first class reputation delivering maximised VGTR claims.

Frequently asked questions


If you want to claim Video Games Tax Relief, your video game 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 video game you want to claim VGTR for. The BFI will assess your application and award points based on the cultural content of the game, its cultural contribution, its cultural hubs, and its cultural practitioners. To pass the test, each video game must score at least 16 out of a possible 31 points.

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

The cultural test for video games is set out in The Cultural Test (Video Games) Regulation 2014 but for more information, read this.

In addition to completing an application form for each game, a Statutory Declaration to certify that 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 Accountants 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 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 BFI will normally issue a certificate within 28 days of the receipt of a fully completed application.

Delays may occur if application forms are not properly completed or need further information. If you need the certificate by a certain date, make sure you apply in good time and specify your deadline date on the application.

A Letter of Comfort: If you’re not yet ready to make a full cultural test application, you can submit a draft application and receive a Letter of Comfort from the BFI. This letter will state that the video game should pass the cultural test. A Letter of Comfort can’t be used to submit a VGTR claim to HMRC, but it is reassuring to have, and it can help you secure financing.

An Interim Certificate: You can apply for an Interim Certificate if your video game is still in production. An Interim Certificate will be issued once the BFI and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are satisfied that your video game will pass the cultural test, based on the proposals set out in your application.

A Final Certificate: A Final Certificate, which proves your game is British, will only be issued after your video game is finished and is ready for public consumption. Applications for a final certificate should, therefore, not be submitted before the video game has been completed. 

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 Accountants Report can cost between £500 and £2,000 per application, depending on the video game 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 Video Games 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 video game expenditure relates to initial design stage activities or commercial exploitation of the video game. 

For example, initial concept artwork used as part of the process of establishing the commercial viability is not core expenditure and not eligible for VGTR.  Advertising a video game 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 Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) to which a Video Games Development Company (VGDC) is entitled in respect of a video game trade is determined by the amount of core expenditure which is also European Economic Area (EEA) expenditure.

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

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

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 VGTR team today

Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR), also known as the UK Games Tax Relief Scheme, is a creative industry tax relief incentive, funded by the UK government.

VGTR supports UK game developers by offering them a tax rebate against the money they spend on the design, production and testing of a new video game.

Video Games Tax Relief is worth up to 20% of the core production costs of a game. Game developers can claim VGTR on whichever is lower:

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

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

If you meet the above VGTR criteria, and your video game can be played on any one of the following devices, you could be entitled to Video Games Tax Relief:

  • PC’s
  • Televisions
  • Smartphones or other mobile devices
  • Tablets
  • Video consoles or other handheld portable devices

Video Games Tax Relief is claimed as part of the Company Tax Return (CT600) that is filed with HMRC.

To make a VGTR claim, you’ll need to be registered as a company and have the following documents:

  • Your BFI cultural certificate to prove your game qualifies as “British”.
  • Statements that show your core expenditure, broken down by category and by EEA and non-EEA spending.
  • A profit and loss account for each video game produced (each game needs to be reported to HMRC as a separate trade).

You’ll need to calculate if your video game has made a profit or a loss and determine whether your VGTR 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 Video Games Development Company (VGDC). There are restrictions for the way losses can be used and these will vary depending on if the video game is finished and trade has ceased.

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

  1. Your company must be responsible for most of the planning, designing, developing, testing, and production of the video game and, therefore, be known as the Video Games Development Company (VGDC).
  2. The video game must be intended for commercial release, but not created for advertising, promotion, or gambling (within the meaning of the Gambling Act 2005) purposes.
  3. The video game should qualify as “British” under the British Film Institute (BFI) Video Games Cultural Test.
  4. At least 25% of your video game production costs must have been incurred within the European Economic Area (EEA).

 

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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 years?

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

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Does your business employ more than 500 people, or does it have more than €86 million in turnover?

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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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