UK Film Tax Relief

UK Film Tax Relief was introduced as one of the first of a suite of tax incentives for the creative industries. Its introduction has boosted the number of qualifying films in the UK and has attracted film makers from overseas to use UK talent and resources. As with all tax incentives it is important for film makers to plan ahead and speak with a professional advisor as early as possible.

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Alliotts have a proven record in dealing with UK Film Tax Relief applications.

Our success speaks for itself; in the last three years we have successfully applied for, and secured, around £40m in film tax refunds on behalf of our clients.

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What is UK Film Tax Relief?

  • UK Film Tax Relief (FTR)is available for all British qualifying films of any budget level; the film production company can claim a payable cash rebate of up to 25% of UK qualifying expenditure.
  • The Tax Relief is capped at 80% of core expenditure  i.e. even if you spend 100% qualifying expenditure in the UK, tax relief is payable on up to 80%.
  • There is no budget limit.

How do I access UK Film Tax Relief?

  • Tax relief is available for British qualifying films.
  • Films must either pass the Cultural Test or qualify as an official co-production
  • Films must be intended for theatrical release
  • Films, including those made under official co-production treaties must reach a minimum UK spend requirement of 10%. The UK currently has eleven active bi lateral treaties.
  • Tax relief is available on qualifying UK production expenditure on the lower of either 80% of total core expenditure or the actual UK core expenditure incurred
  • There is no cap on the amount which can be claimed

Film Production Companies

UK Film Tax Relief has boosted the number of British qualifying films in the UK and has attracted film makers from overseas to use UK talent and resources.

UK Film Tax Relief is available to the Film Production Company (FPC) responsible for the film on the condition that it falls within the UK corporation tax net.

The FPC is defined as the company responsible for the principal photography and post production of the film; and for the completion of the finished film. (There is no requirement for the film rights to be owned by the FPC at the time the film is completed).

What is the minimum UK spend?

A minimum of 10% of costs must be spent on UK qualifying production expenditure.

What qualifies as expenditure?

UK qualifying production expenditure is defined as expenditure incurred on filming activities (pre-production, principal photography and post production) which take place within the UK, irrespective of the nationality of the persons carrying out the activity.

HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) definition of UK spend introduces the concept of where a good or service is “used or consumed” in the UK. If they are used or consumed in the UK, the expenditure is treated as UK expenditure (under the rules set out in the clauses of the Finance Bill). If they are used or consumed outside the UK, they do not count as UK expenditure.

The Cultural Test

Qualifying a film as British can enable producers to access the UK’s film tax relief. The Cultural Test can also be applied to qualify high-end television programmes, animation, children’s programmes and video games as British and to access the UK’s creative sector tax reliefs.

If you are unsure about the amount of tax credit that may be on a production, we would be happy to provide you with our opinion.


Advance Finance for Films.

If you need your film tax relief to help with cash flow, there are financial institutions who will advance funds on the film tax relief that is due.

Before releasing finance they require an opinion from an experienced media accountant that the film is eligible and will be in receipt of the tax relief.

We have the expertise to be able to provide such reports to banks and other institutions. Please talk to us for further advice.

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Related & Other Musings

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If you would like to talk to us about UK Film Tax Relief please contact David Gibbs or Samuel Ampah.


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For expert help and advice on UK film tax relief please contact our media team on +44 (0)207 240 9971 or email

    UK Film Tax Relief
    David Gibbs | Alliotts



    View David's profile

    David is an International Corporate Tax specialist. He has over 30 years’ experience in providing commercially focused tax advice and support to a wide range of clients, from technology start-ups to large inward investing corporates.

    A qualified Chartered Accountant, David went on to qualify as a Chartered Tax Adviser and prior to joining Alliotts as a partner in 2014 he held the position of tax partner in Grant Thornton and subsequently in PwC.

    David focuses on providing strategic tax advice to entrepreneurs and privately owned businesses. By investing time in understanding clients and their businesses he is able to provide advice which is practical and appropriate to clients’ circumstances in order to keep taxes to a sensible minimum. He advises on a wide range of taxes including transaction planning, UK outbound and inbound structuring, corporate tax, technology tax reliefs, investor and shareholder planning, capital gains tax and LLPs. David advises both UK and overseas business owners on international tax planning.

    David also specialises in advising individuals and businesses in the media sector on UK film tax credits, video games tax reliefs and other creative sector tax incentives. He also advises on EIS and SEIS.


    Samuel Ampah | Alliotts


    Assistant Manager, Media Team

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    Samuel is a key member of Alliotts Media team, working with production companies and helping produce their accounts. He regularly presents at third party webinars and workshops on a range of areas of interest to media businesses, ranging from tax incentives, accounting and growing a business.

    Samuel is a Trustee of Mama Youth Project and is a member of the Production Guild’s Diversity and Inclusion Group

    As a member of our accounts team Samuel also works with a wide range of UK based and international clients across a variety of sectors. Samuel’s primary role involves delivering accounting, management reporting, VAT and cash flow reporting services to clients. By working closely with Alliotts partners the information Sam provides helps clients ensure that they remain compliant with their filing deadlines and have the financial data they need to make key decisions.


    “I’ve been lucky enough to have Sam over to the NFTS for 2 years running to speak on a Marketing, Distribution, Sales & Exhibition Masters. He is great at talking through the financing side of things – particularly given the lack of experience that most of our students have in the industry. He is able to break things down and explain them in a much clearer and straightforward manner. He is extremely personable and is always a hit with the students.”

    Poonam Sahota, National film and television school

    “Samuel Ampah and the team at Alliotts could not be more helpful. From the earliest stages of closing, Sam has been readily available to any and all advisors on the show to explain and reassure on the criteria and complexities of the UK film tax credit specific to the needs of the production, going so far as to create his own spreadsheets to verify the producer’s calculations and responding. to every related query by return. As the legislation and HMRC guidelines evolve, it’s reassuring to know Alliotts is in front of developments adding the weight and wisdom of an experienced team of advisors. That Ian Gibbon is a genuine cinephile and Sam enthusiastic about the project’s potential impact only enhances the engagement. Thank you.”

    Mary McGuckian, pembridge pictures.

    “Samuel is a safe pair of hands, with a robust and thorough understanding of all areas of accounting and finance relating to the film sector. He’s also a great speaker, with a knack for putting clients at ease, and explaining (sometimes complex) financial strategies and considerations in a way that is both concise and accessible.”

    Film City Futures