High End Television Tax Relief

Facilities sector works with industry on high end television tax reliefs as long-term campaign reaches successful conclusion.

Tax reliefs for high-end television were a long term campaign for UK Screen, with the Association commissioning research back in 2010 on the impact of UK-commisioned dramas shooting overseas. This work was later shared with advisors to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Following the 2012 Budget announcement on Creative Sector Tax Reliefs, UK Screen worked with the facilities sector and with the TV Coalition (a collaboration of inward investors, production companies and industry bodies) on responses to the Treasury consultation regarding the design and implementation of the high end television tax relief and to the DCMS consultation on the high-end television cultural test. The aim of this work was to:

  • Encourage production companies with a UK-commission for high end drama to make their content in the UK (ie avoid ‘runaway’ production)
  • Make the UK an attractive destination for inward investment of big budget, multi-episodic television drama, as this kind of work can have dramatic impacts on growth, investment and job creation
  • Maximise the amount of productions coming to the UK – to the benefit of the whole film and high-end television value chain
  • Create a solution that was compliant with EU legislation
  • Gain industry agreement across a number of issues in order to give clear guidance to Government
  • Set in place further work to address transitional issues regarding skills and capacity


Creative Sector tax reliefs for high end television, animation and games were announced in the 2012 Autumn Statement. The reliefs for television and animation came into force in April 2013.

In addition UK Screen worked with its members to submit a separate consultation response on behalf of the facilities sector. This document suggested reducing the required minimum level of UK spend (the floor) from 25% to 10% in order to enable culturally British productions which were doing principle photography outside the UK to bring secondary shoot, post production and/or VFX work to the UK and be eligible for a tax credit

Although unsuccessful on this issue at the time, UK Screen continued to liaise with Treasury and DCMS on ways to make the existing tax reliefs work better for all areas of the production process. The reduction in the floor has subsequently been adopted by HMT in its proposed changes to film tax relief – announced December 2013.

UK Screen members can view the consultation documentation in our Members' Area.