EC extends UK tax relief until 2023

Amid the uncertainty of Brexit, the European Commission has ruled that existing video games tax relief (VGTF) rules for British game developers will remain in effect until at least 2023.

Confirmation of the successful re-notification ensures that VGTF to be viewed as state aid exempt under the cultural exemption. Without such a ruling, the scheme could in theory be operating illegally.

It is also likely in a post-Brexit situation that state aid rules are required to be respected in any free-trade agreement, should such a thing ever actually come to fruition.

In 2017 alone 161 new games have been certified for VGTR, stimulating around £160m in budget spend.

“The Video Games Tax Relief has provided a real boost to the UK games sector and the UK’s economy,” Ukie CEO Jo Twist said. “Having confirmation that the VGTR can continue to operate until at least 2023 is fantastic news, providing some much needed confidence to the UK games sector and maintaining a key competitive advantage for British studios.

“Ukie has closely supported the work around the renotification and we very much welcome the UK government’s ongoing support for the sector. We look forward to continuing to representing the sector, calling on government to introduce further measures that will help grow the UK’s games industry, particularly around continued access to highly skilled talent post- Brexit.”

TIGA CEO Richard Wilson added: “Today’s statistics clearly show that the UK video games industry is seeing strong, sustained momentum. We are delighted that VGTR is continuing to be such a success, supporting a gaming sector which is leading the charge in the UK creative industries.

“With the advent of Brexit, it is more important than ever for the UK Government to retain and potentially enhance VGTR, strengthen education and training and enable businesses to continue to recruit highly skilled people from the EU and the rest of the world. This will enable the UK games development sector to remain world leading.”

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