Theatre Tax Relief (TTR)

"Graham explained very clearly what was needed and then delivered exactly as he said he would. Graham prepared the computations and submitted the claims on our behalf and we didn't have to deal with HMRC at all. This was the easiest piece of tax work that we have ever had to do"

Matthew Quirk of The Merry Opera Company

What is TTR?

TTR is a scheme introduced to support and encourage the creation of theatrical productions.

It was introduced on the 1st September 2014 (see Finance Act 2014 (see link)) and can be claimed by companies that produce qualifying  productions.

TTR is based on the Film Tax Relief scheme introduced in 2007 and subsequently extended to other creative industries including TV, Animation, Video Games, Orchestra and Museums and Galleries.

TTR is processed through the Corporation Tax system and is available to incorporated companies, commercial and charitable, that produce qualifying theatrical productions. 

How does TTR work? 

TTR works by enhancing expenditure incurred in the production process and creates an additional deduction to be set against the profit or loss, (or surplus or deficit in respect of charitable companies) of each production.  

For commercial companies, the additional deduction reduces the profits assessable for Corporation Tax and, where it extends or creates a loss, allows that loss to be surrendered to HMRC for a payable tax credit.

For charitable companies, the additional deduction reduces the surplus already exempt from Corporation Tax and, where it creates or extends a deficit or loss, allows this to be surrendered to HMRC for a payable tax credit.  

Who qualifies?

Theatre companies constituted as a:

  • company limited by shares
  • company limited by guarantee
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
  • Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO)
  • Community Interest Company (CIC)

All fall under the Company Tax regime and, even if they do not currently file Company Tax Returns, can claim TTR if they produce qualifying theatrical productions.

Unfortunately, if the theatre company is an unincorporated association (UA) or a trust then they are currently unable to claim TTR.

If the UA or trust wishes to claim TTR then it must either set up a separate production company or alternatively, change its structure.

One increasingly popular option is for a charitable UA to convert to a CIO or SCIO.

This is a decision for the theatre company and HMRC has no issue with either option.

Which theatrical productions qualify?

A production qualifies for TTR if it is a theatrical production.

That is a dramatic production or a traditional ballet.

This means a production of a play, an opera, a ballet, a musical or other dramatic piece in relation to which:

  • the actors, singers, dancers or other performers are to give their performances wholly or mainly through the playing of roles
  • each performance in the proposed run of performances is to be live
  • the presentation of live performances is the main or one of the main objects of the company’s activities in relation to the production.

The production must also meet what is called the commercial purpose condition.

That is that the production company intends that all or a high proportion of the live performances will be to either:

  • to paying members of the general  public or
  • provided for educational purposes.

Which expenditure qualifies for enhancement?

Expenditure qualifying for enhancement is called Core expenditure and includes expenditure incurred on:

  • producing the production
  • exceptional running costs, and
  • closing the production.

For example, the costs of the set, costumes, répétiteur, script, the actor’s wages through the rehearsal phase are all enhanceable costs.

Non-qualifying or non-core expenditure include costs relating to:

  • Marketing
  • Financing
  • Legal services
  • Storage
  • Ordinary running costs

Where expenditure falls across the various phases of production then it will need to be apportioned on a just and reasonable basis.

How is TTR claimed?

TTR is claimed through the Company Tax system which means that claims must be made within a Company Tax Return or an amendment to a Company Tax Return.

Claims must include computations in respect of all qualifying productions and detail the income received and the expenditure incurred.

The expenditure should be split between core and non-core and information should be provided of any apportionments used.  

As specialists in Theatre Tax Relief, we are here to help you achieve the maximum benefit available whilst making the process as simple as possible. 

If you would like to download our free fact sheet on Theatre Tax Relief - sign up here.

Testimonials

"I found Graham and Creative Tax Reliefs through a Google search as we had a client that was eligible for Theatre Tax Relief (TTR). I and a colleague had read through HMRC’s guidance a number of times and felt confident that we understood how it worked, however, we had no experience in claiming TTR. It seemed a no-brainer to work with Graham because Graham, as a former Creative Tax Reliefs specialist with HMRC, knew how to prepare and present claims to HMRC, would be certain of the calculations, knew where the boundaries were and would achieve maximum benefit for the client. We prepared the accounts and submitted the CT600 as per usual with input from Graham whilst he liaised directly with HMRC’s Creative Industries Unit in respect of the client’s TTR claim. The client received their tax credit without issue and in an amount greater than expected. Our client was delighted as were we and we look forward to working with Graham going forward. "
Ian Bragger, Partner at Harris & Co (https://www.harrisaccounts.co.uk/)
"I am so pleased and relieved that Graham got in touch with me about Theatre Tax Relief. I had mistakenly thought that we were not eligible but so far Graham has claimed nearly £100,000 in tax credit for us. This is not only an enormous benefit and can be ploughed back into the work that we do but it would have been extremely short-sighted of us not to be claiming the money that is due to us. Graham has made the whole process so simple and easy. I cannot recommend him highly enough"
Sarah Gobran, Co-Founder & Producer of The Guildford Shakespeare Company (https://www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk)
"NCO engaged Graham at the start of 2019 and has developed a wholly positive and ongoing relationship ever since. Not only has Graham increased our understanding of OTR and how it applies to NCO, he has taken all the stress and strain away from the process. His previous experience as a tax specialist at HMRC has proved invaluable as has his ability to explain the complexities to us in a way we can understand! I cannot recommend Graham more highly. "
Sophie Lewis, Managing Director of the National Children's Orchestras of Great Britain (https://www.nco.org.uk)
"Graham explained very clearly what was needed and then delivered exactly as he said he would. Graham prepared the computations and submitted the claims on our behalf and we didn't have to deal with HMRC at all. This was the easiest piece of tax work that we have ever had to do"
Matthew Quirk of The Merry Opera Company (https://www.merryopera.co.uk)
"Our accountant struggled with VGTR so we engaged Graham and his company. Graham prepared all the necessary computations and submitted the claim on our behalf. This was paid by HMRC without question and in an amount in excess of what we had previously expected. We are delighted and cannot recommend Graham or his company highly enough"
Ashley Stancill, Director at HyperSloth Games (https://www.hypersloth.co.uk)
"It was a pleasure working with Graham on our claim for Film Tax Credit for Stuffed. For independent creators working in Film and TV, the Tax Credit is a vital part of making your film a reality. Graham is an assured and calm voice in the often-intimidating world of tax. I’d highly recommend Graham to my colleagues working in Film and TV. "
Carys Lewis, writer and director of the 2019 BAFTA Cymru Nominee short film Stuffed (http://www.caryslewis.ca/)
"With no clear guidance on how to claim Theatre Tax Relief and after spending a considerable amount of time consulting with colleagues, accountants, reading huge, incomprehensible HMRC guidelines and generally worrying that the company was missing the TTR boat, I spoke to Graham. Everything was plain sailing for us after the initial consultation – with very little effort on our part, Graham made a successful submission and we have just received a substantial payment. I am delighted at the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending Graham and his company"
Sue Andrews, former Executive Director of Northern Broadsides Theatre Company (https://www.northern-broadsides.co.uk)
"It was a pleasure to work with Graham. He explained the process very clearly, prepared all the necessary computations and submitted the claims on our behalf. We are extremely delighted with the outcome and have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Graham and his Company to others"
Sylvia Collins of the Huddersfield Light Opera Company
"I have been aware of Theatre Tax Relief for a few years now but the process of claiming the money was daunting. We didn't have the resources or the expertise to make the claim. Graham made the process of claiming Theatre Tax Relief very straight forward. He kept me informed of developments and answered all my questions. I provided him with information and he did the rest"
Shona Rattray, General Manager of the Hopscotch Theatre Company (https://www.hopscotchtheatre.com)
"Thanks so much Graham! You and Creative Tax Reliefs are the best. "
Ellie Claughton, Producer with Lung Theatre (http://lungtheatre.co.uk) and Barrel Organ (https://www.barrelorgantheatre.co.uk)
"For a small theatre company like us navigating Theatre Tax Relief was a daunting prospect. Having the support and expertise of Creative Tax Reliefs was absolutely brilliant. Graham explained everything and did a fantastic job sorting out the different projects we had been working on, calculated what we could claim and did all the leg work. The Tax Relief we received from HMRC helped us take our show to the Edinburgh Fringe, something we certainly couldn't have done without this extra funding. We would highly recommend Creative Tax Reliefs and will certainly be using them again in the future. "
Jasmine Cole of Jasmine Cole Productions
"When I first heard from Graham I have to say I was more than a little sceptical. Why had no one mentioned this to us before? The information seemed so monumental – shouldn’t it have been on the news? Within a few emails and phone conversations, we had provided all the information necessary and had everything thoroughly explained to us. Within two weeks we had received the tax credit into our bank account! Creative Tax Reliefs are amazing!"
Clare Molyneux, Artistic Director of Open The Door (Theatre in Education) C.I.C.
"When Graham first contacted us, we hadn’t heard of Theatre Tax Relief, which made us fairly wary. Graham took the time and care to explain it all to us and how the process would work. Initially, we were sceptical and worried about the time it would take for us to collate all the information needed for the claim. However, we needn’t have worried, Graham helped us every step of the way and made the process simple and quick. We would recommend working with Graham in an instant."
Fliss Green, Senior Strategy & Project Manager of Chain Reaction Theatre Company (https://www.chainreactiontheatre.co.uk)

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