Tax reliefs to the rescue for children’s TV

Cliona Kirby, Tax Partner, CMS

Those nostalgic for the glory days of UK children’s TV will be pleased by the extension to creative industry tax credits announced by George Osborne today.

Subject to state aid approval, tax relief for the production of children’s TV programmes will be available at a rate of 25% on qualifying core expenditure from April 2015. Lobbyists for the extension had highlighted dwindling investment in UK children’s TV and these tax credits should provide the industry with a much needed boost.

Osborne also noted that the Government intends to extend the theatre tax relief, introduced in April 2014, to include orchestras.

Additionally, the Government will explore amending the existing high end TV tax credit – which has been very successful in encouraging US TV programmes such as Game of Thrones and 24 to be made in the UK – to incorporate similar beneficial amendments to those made to the film tax credit in April 2014. In particular, the Government will look at reducing the minimum UK expenditure requirement from 25% to 10% and modernising the cultural test, such that the number of points available for principal photography, special effects, visual effects and films in the English language will be increased.

We are pleased to see the tax breaks which have provided widespread support to the creative industries and encouraged inward investment in the UK being extended in this way.

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