Theatre Tax Relief

Alan Lane the artistic director of Slung Low (a company which “makes adventures for audiences outside of conventional theatre spaces”) has recently described Theatre Tax Relief as “….magic money from the magic money tree”. So what’s it all about?

Theatre Tax Relief is one of the six creative sector Corporation Tax reliefs that allow companies, including charitable companies, to claim a larger deduction from tax or in some circumstances claim a payable tax credit.

The tax credit amounts to 16%-20% of qualifying production costs.

The important point to note is that the production company does not need to have paid tax to be able to claim a tax credit – hence Alan Lane’s comment that Theatre Tax Relief is “….magic money from the magic money tree”.

So who can qualify for Theatre Tax Relief?

Here is a basis checklist of eligibility requirements for Theatre Tax Relief:

  • Only companies can claim Theatre Tax Relief, this includes charitable companies
  • Only the production company responsible for producing, running and closing the production can claim – this is called the Theatre Production Company (TPC)
  • There can only be one TPC per production i.e. if a production is co-produced, only the company “most directly engaged” in the production activities will qualify
  • Each performance of the proposed run is to be live i.e. it must be to an audience before whom the performers are present
  • The actors, singers, dancers or other performers must give their performances wholly or mainly through the playing of roles
  • At the beginning of the production phase the TPC intends that all, or a high proportion of the live performs will be to paying members of the general public, or provided for educational purposes

Productions which are not “qualifying productions” for Theatre Tax Relief:

  • Productions where the main purpose, or one of the main purposes is to advertise or promote any goods or services
  • Performances which consist of or include a competition or contest
  • Performances which include the use of a wild animal
  • A production of a sexual nature
  • Productions where the making of a recording is the main object, or one of the main objects, of the company’s activities in relation to the production

Since the introduction of the creative sector tax reliefs in 2014 Tait Walker has helped creative bodies in our region to claim more than £1m in tax credits.

We offer all new potential clients a free, no-obligation initial discussion to evaluate whether they may qualify for a creative sector tax relief.

If you would like to meet up for a coffee to discuss your potential claim please contact:
Louise Barker (0191 226 8390 or or
Alastair Wilson (0191 226 8411 or

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