The UK has had great success in producing high-end tv drama, but there is growing evidence that these UK productions are increasingly being made overseas or even being abandoned.
The relief is not intended to subsidise existing television production taking place in the UK, but rather to incentivise new production activity that would not otherwise occur in the UK. The legislation has specific rules: for instance, high-end television production is defined on the basis of slot time, not running time, where production costs must be at least £1 million per hour of programme slot time; programming such as pilots and high-end documentaries will also be deemed eligible if they meet the production cost threshold; but certain categories will not be eligible (e.g. a news or current affairs programme, or broadcasts of live theatrical or artistic events).
The relief allows for 100% additional tax deduction on qualifying expenditure up to a maximum of 80% of overall expenditure, with a 25% payable tax credit of qualifying expenditure (equating to 20% of overall expenditure). Qualifying expenditure incurred after 1 April 2013 is eligible for the relief.