Insights Spring Budget 2024 – Creative Reliefs


Against the backdrop of the new audio-visual expenditure credit available from 1 January 2024 for film, TV and video games productions, the Chancellor has sought to continue the success story of the UK’s creative industries through the introduction of a trio of new measures to support long term growth.

First, the new Independent Film Tax Credit, an above the line credit available for films that have total core expenditure of up to £15m and that receive a new accreditation from the British Film Institute. The credit rate will be 53% of qualifying expenditure, which equates to an effective rate of 39.75%. As with other creative reliefs, qualifying expenditure is capped at a maximum of 80% of a film’s total core expenditure. This is a significant increase on the net credit the same film could have otherwise claimed under AVEC, and should therefore be welcome news to those who are able to qualify. In terms of timing, the relief is being introduced for films that commence principal photography on or after 1 April 2024. Claims can be made from 1 April 2025.

Second, as trailblazed in the Autumn Statement, the Government has announced enhanced tax relief for visual effects costs in films and high-end TV. Subject to certain conditions, visual effects expenditure by those productions in the UK will receive an enhanced tax credit rate of 39% (as opposed to 34%) and the 80% cap on qualifying expenditure will also be removed for these costs. The changes will come into effect from 1 April 2025. It is anticipated that a consultation will be published in due course on the types of expenditure which will be within scope. This targeted support should provide a welcome boost to the UK’s VFX industry.

Finally, in order to promote and maintain investment in new studio space, the Chancellor announced a 40% relief on business rates for eligible film studios in England for the next 10 years. Whilst the details are still to be announced, it is hoped that this relief will help to continue to make the UK an attractive and competitive jurisdiction for the creative industries.