The UK government released new details on tax relief it wants to offer the video games industry, as a follow-up to last week's Autumn statement. For starters, the UK government has decided that it will have no minimum spending threshold so that tax relief can be provided to companies of all shapes and sizes. The government came to this conclusion after a lengthy consultation period with developers across the region. The tax relief initiative will come into effect on April 1, 2013.
The government also revealed that it will allow direct production expenditures to be eligible for relief, much like it does within its film tax relief program. Early development will also be eligible for tax breaks, as will direct production, and quality assurance. The government will not provide tax relief for games that are designed as advertising vehicles or that promote gambling. Developers will be able to do some product placement and in-game advertising.
The UK government also released details on a means test for developers looking for tax relief. Basically the importance of British culture being advanced will play a key role in who has a better shot at getting those tax rates. You can see the rather lengthy list in this Develop story (thanks to MaskedPixelante for the tip on that).