High End TV (HETV) Tax Credits

There is guidance for production companies on how to apply for HETV Tax Credits here. It is essentially a points scheme where a production has to pass a ‘cultural test’.

Film, Animation and TV tax relief are three reliefs that are part of the UK’s suite of creative industry tax reliefs.

Relief is available in the form of:

  • An enhanced Corporation Tax relief of up to 100% of the ‘enhanceable expenditure’ incurred. For example, your enhanceable expenditure is £100 and you obtain tax relief on up to £200.
  • A repayable tax credit for losses surrendered of 25% of the loss up to a limit of the maximum enhanceable expenditure incurred. Prior to 1 April 2015, higher-budget films were restricted to 20% of the loss.
  • For Animation and TV tax relief, enhanced expenditure is capped at the lesser of qualifying UK expenditure or 80% of total qualifying expenditure.

For Film tax relief, prior to 1 April 2015, this figure was higher for lower budget (<£20 million) films at 100% of total qualifying expenditure, although higher budget films were still restricted to 80%.

From 1 April 2015, the distinction between lower and higher budget films is removed, with all films entitled to enhanced expenditure of 100% of total qualifying expenditure.

There some slight variations across the reliefs however each film, animation or program is treated as a separate trade and only one company may claim relief in respect of each trade.

The Cultural Test for high-end television is points-based, with sections relating to content, cultural contribution, location, and cast and crew.
Projects need to achieve at least 18 from a possible 35 points.
The sections are:
• Cultural content
• Cultural contribution
• Cultural hubs
• Cultural Practitioners

A good summary of exactly what reliefs are available in each of the three categories can be seen here.

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