New reliefs were introduced for animation and high end television production with effect from 1st April 2013. The reliefs broadly mirror those available for film production companies

A television production company is a company that is responsible for the pre-production, principal photography, and post-production. It must also be engaged actively in production planning and decision-making during those stages, as well as having responsibility for delivery of the completed programme, negotiations, contracts and payments for rights, goods and services in relation to the programme.

Except in the case of “qualifying co-productions”, there can only be one television production company for any one programme.

A qualifying co-production is a programme that is eligible to be certified as a British programme as a result of an agreement between Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and any other government, international organisation or authority. In order that this may apply, the television production company is one that, otherwise than in partnership, is a co-producer making an effective creative, technical and artistic contribution to the programme. The effect of this provision operates to exclude co-producers who make only a financial contribution.

Television tax relief takes two forms being an additional 100% allowable deduction of core expenditure and television tax credit equivalent to 25 per cent of losses surrendered. A television programme qualifies for relief if it meets three requirements:

  •   The condition in respect of UK expenditure.
  •   It is intended for broadcast.
  •   It is certified as a British programme.


To meet the UK expenditure condition, at least 25 per cent of the core expenditure incurred on the relevant programme must be UK expenditure. “UK expenditure” is defined as expenditure on goods or services that are used or consumed in the United Kingdom. Core expenditure refers to production expenditure on pre-production, principal photography and post production. “Production expenditure” means expenditure on television production activities in connection with the programme.


For a programme to be “intended for broadcast”, it must be intended for broadcast to the general public from the outset of the project.

In order to qualify for television tax relief, a programme must also be certified by the Secretary of State as a “British programme”. The television production company may apply to the Secretary of State for either an interim certificate (granted before the programme is completed), or a final certificate (granted after the programme is completed).



A new corporation tax relief for the production of children’s television programmes will be introduced from 1 April 2015.

If you would like to explore whether you might qualify for these reliefs, please get in touch for a no obligation call.