British Film Certification

Films (subject to a “cultural test”) can qualify for beneficial tax breaks under the British Film Certification system.

Film tax relief is available at 25% of qualifying film production expenditure, regardless of budget.


The Cultural Test

The Cultural Test is made up of four sections:

1 - Content - Location, language, nationality subject matter

2 - Contribution - Creativity, culture and heritage

3 - Hubs - Studio, location effects, music and post production

4 - Practitioners - Nationality of individuals involved in the film or its creation

  • A film need only obtain 18 points out of 35 to pass
  • Only apply for the points you need
  • Separate tests for documentaries and animation
  • Does not apply to co-productions

Points Allocation:

Cultural Content

A1 - Film set in the UK or EEA - Up to 4

A2 - Lead characters British or EEA Citizens or residents - Up to 4

A3 - Film based on British or EEA subject matter or underlying material - 4

A4 - Original dialogue recorded mainly in English, UK indigenous, or EEA language - 6


Cultural Contribution

B1 - Film represents a diverse British culture, British heritage or British creativity - Up to 4


Cultural Hubs

  • C1
    • a) At least 50% of the principal photograph or SFX takes place in the UK (2 points)
    • b) At least 50% of the VFX takes place in the UK (2 points)
    • c) An extra 2 points can be awarded if at least 80% of principal photography or VFX or SFX takes place in the UK (2 points)
    • Any of the above can be applied up to a maximum of 4 points
  • C2
    • Music recording / audio post production/picture post production - 1

Cultural Practitioners (UK or EEA citizens or residents)

  • D1 - Director - 1
  • D2 - Scriptwriter - 1
  • D3 - Producer - 1
  • D4 - Composer - 1
  • D5 - Lead Actors - 1
  • D6 - Majority of cast - 1
  • D7 - Key staff (lead cinematographer, lead production designer, lead costume designer, lead visual effects supervisor, lead hair and makeup supervisor) - 1
  • D8 - Majority of crew - 1
    • Total all sections - 35

If you are looking to apply for tax relief under the cultural test and would like assistance with your application please contact Ian Gibbon on +44 (0)20 7240 9971.

Find our more about our specialist media services

Ian Gibbon
Ian Gibbon
Dipali Buch
Dipali Buch

Partner, London [more...]

Client feedback is the strongest and most valued endorsement we can receive [more...]