Applying for Tax Relief: British Film Institute unveils crucial cultural test guidelines

Applying for Tax Relief: British Film Institute unveils crucial cultural test guidelines

The British Film Institute has announced that, following European Commission state aid approval, its certification unit will be accepting draft online applications for video games under the cultural test.

Passing this cultural test - by scoring a minimum of 16 points out of a possible 31 - is the only way for developers to become eligible for Games Tax Relief 

Points mean prizes

The test's four sections are designed to analyse a game's cultural content, cultural contribution, and cultural hubs, as well as the cultural compatibility of the development team itself.

For example, when it comes to cultural content high scoring games will be set in the UK or an EEA state, have lead characters that are British or EEA residents.

They'll also feature a story that deals with British subject matter or relates to a EEA state, and contain original dialogue recorded in English, or one of six UK indigenous languages.

Anything to declare?

However, many of the points on offer relate to the team behind the game rather than what's actually on screen.

For instance, points are on offer if half of the game's development, storyboarding, design or programming is carried out on UK soil.

Chances of passing the test will also be greater if a game represents and reflects certain aspects of British creativity, heritage, or diversity. 

Developers looking to receive tax breaks will also need to provide the BFI with a number of key design documents.

Video game scripts, screenplays, schedules, and cost reports are all required by the BFI, while a disc based copy of the finished game, alongside an accountant's report, will also need to be shipped off.

For more information on taking the cultural test and applying for tax relief, check out the BFI's guideline page for yourself.


What do you call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with video games and Sean Bean? That'd be a 'Chris Kerr'. Chris is one of those deluded souls who actually believes that one day Sean Bean will survive a movie. Poor guy.


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