UK game tax breaks: BFI publishes its draft cultural test guidance for applicants

By Dave Cook
1 April 2014 12:41 GMT

The BFI has published a guide for UK game companies looking to gain eligibility for tax breaks by completing a cultural test, following The European Commission’s decision to lift its block on incentives for developers.

Companies looking to gain tax breaks through the cultural test would do well to read the BFI guidelines, as they explain the process in some detail. The BFI is accepting draft proposals from businesses keen to undergo examination.

The guidelines stress that applicants must be registered with Companies House, and within the UK corporation tax net before taking the points-based cultural test. Applicants need to achieve 16 out of a possible 31 points to pass, in a series of examinations that are broken down into four sections:

Cultural content (up to 16 points).
Cultural contribution (up to 4 points).
Cultural hubs (up to 3 points).
Cultural practitioners (up to 8 points).

You’ll find a summary of the sections and point system here.

Interim certificates stating eligibility for tax relief will be valid for three years, while on the final process, the guide states, “A final application must be submitted once the video game is complete; applications for a final certificate should therefore not be submitted prior to completion of a video game. A video game is completed when it is first in a form in which it can reasonably be regarded as ready to be made available to the general public.”

Further guidance and the cultural test application form can be found through the links.

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