Video game tax breaks cultural guidelines test detailed

Ben Parfitt
Video game tax breaks cultural guidelines test detailed

Are you British enough? Or specifically, is your game British enough to qualify for tax breaks?

Well now you can find out, thanks to The British Film institute’s now-published guidelines that developers must pass in order to qualify.

Here they are. A game needs to score 16 from the available 31 points (equivalent to a review score of 52%):

Section A – Cultural content
A1 - Set in the UK or an EEA state or (Up to 3 points will be awarded for set in an undetermined location) (Up to 4 Points)
A2 - Lead characters British or EEA citizens or residents (or characters from an undetermined location) (Up to 4 Points)
A3 - Video game based on British subject matter or relates to an EEA state or underlying material (4 points)
A4 - Original dialogue recorded mainly in English language or one of six UK indigenous languages (Up to 4 Points)

Section B – Cultural contribution
B - Video game represents/reflects British creativity, British heritage or diversity (Up to 4 Points)

Section C – Cultural hubs
C1 - At least 50% of the conceptual development or storyboarding or programming or design takes place in the UK (2 points)
C2 - At least 50% of the music recording or audio production or voice recording takes place in the UK (1 point)

Section D – Personnel
D1 - 1 of the 3 lead project leaders is an EEA citizen or resident (1 point)
D2 - 1 of the 3 lead scriptwriters is an EEA citizen or resident (1 point)
D3 - 1 of the 3 lead composers is an EEA citizen or resident (1 point)
D4 - 1 of the 3 lead artists is an EEA citizen or resident (1 point)
D5 - 1 of the 3 lead programmers is an EEA citizen or resident (1 point)
D6 - 1 of the 3 lead designers is an EEA citizen or resident (1 point)
D7 - At least 1 of the 7 key HoDs is an EEA citizen or resident (1 point)
D8 - At least 50% of the development team are EEA citizens or residents (1 point)

To apply there must be at least one video games production company involved that is registered with Companies House and “within the UK corporation tax net”.

Draft applications are being accepted right now. Successful games will receive a “pre-approval letter of comfort with a statutory declaration and certificate” that will be valid for three years and which can be presented to HMRC. A final certificate will also need to be obtained once the game is complete.

Develop adds the following details:

“There is also an undetermined location rule to take into consideration. Games set in or characters from an undetermined location will be eligible for points in Section A1 and A2, but only if points are scored in sections A3, A4 or B.

“There is also a Golden Points Rule that applies if a game scores all 15 points in sections C, D and A4. In this event, points must also be obtained in specific areas to pass the cultural test.”

For all the documentation needed for the cultural test, visit the BFI's official website. You can view the full draft guidelines for the cultural test here.

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Tags: video games , tax breaks , bfi , cultural guidelines

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