20.02.2024

Media: Rockstar North got a third of the funds allocated for tax benefits to British game studios

Edinburgh-based Rockstar North regularly enjoys the right to tax benefits in the UK. The Scotsman claims that between April 2015 and March 2023, the company requested a tax deduction from the country's authorities in the amount of £360.3 million ($453.7 million).

Rockstar North receives benefits under the Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) program. As part of it, the authorities compensate studios for up to 20% of the cost of developing games.

The Scotsman noted that in recent years, the amounts requested by Rockstar North have increased significantly. For example, five years ago the company asked for £37.6 million ($47.3 million), whereas last year it wanted to receive £75.48 million ($95 million). Most likely, this growth is due to the development of GTA VI.

The British authorities have not yet disclosed the VGTR budget for the period from April 2022 to March 2023, so it is unclear whether Rockstar North received the desired £75.48 million ($95 million). However, the budget for previous years is known. According to the calculations of The Scotsman, Rockstar North accounted for 35% of all funds spent under VGTR in 2015-2022 — this is £284.7 million ($358.5 million) out of £819.4 million ($1.03 billion).

The Scotsman table with data on ordinary profit, operating profit and annual turnover of Rockstar North in the period from April 2015 to March 2023. The table also shows the amount of tax deduction requested by Rockstar North and the total budget of VGTR for the year

According to The Scotsman, the amount of benefits received by Rockstar North is five times higher than the company's operating profit. In addition, Rockstar North has not paid income tax in the UK since it became involved in the VGTR program.

Rockstar North has not commented on The Scotsman material. But recall that in 2020, a similar article about the company's taxes was published by TaxWatch. After its release, Rockstar North told the media that thanks to the benefits, it was able to create more than a thousand jobs across the UK and thereby made a significant contribution to the country's economy.

Earlier, the consulting firm Games Investor Consulting estimated that VGTR helped the British economy grow by £2.4billion ($3 billion) in nine years. In addition, according to analysts, the program has allowed the country's gaming industry to cope with the crisis.

A source:

The Scotsman
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