18 August 2022
New statistics published today show that HMRC paid out £1.05bn in creative industries tax reliefs for the year to 31 March 2022 – a 20% drop from £1.32bn in the previous year.
This was largely due to a significant fall in film tax relief claims, from 905 (year to 31 March 2021) to 720 (year to 31 March 2022). The amount of relief claimed in the film industry also fell from £616m to £362m – the first drop since 2015/16. Whereas, the amount of high-end TV tax relief claims continued to climb, from £380m to £397m. The number of high-end TV tax relief claims is also at its highest since its introduction in 2013 (370 claims).
Ben Bilsland, partner and media and technology senior analyst at RSM UK said: ‘With high-end TV overtaking film tax relief claims, this is another indication that the creative industry in the UK is pivoting away from film and towards high quality episodic content. The value and number of high-end TV commissions has grown globally. A key driver is the war for content between the streamers such as Netflix and Disney.
‘The drop in film tax reliefs is stark, and there’s likely to be a combination of factors behind this. Firstly, the timing of claims which may have coincided with the pandemic, as the industry tackled with the challenges of lockdown. Secondly, the eligibility of the relief may have a part to play too, as not all work in the UK film industry will meet the necessary criteria.
‘The UK film industry is heavily reliant on overseas investment and these creative reliefs are a magnet in attracting this investment, alongside our world class facilities and talent. It’s important the government and HMRC monitor the reliefs in place to ensure the UK is kept at the forefront of both film and high-end TV.’