• Date

    11 May 2022
  • Category

Updates to Theatre Tax Relief

The draft legislation has been issued and is going through the Parliamentary authorisation procedures. Set out below are some key proposed changes (which except where noted will be relevant for productions where the production phase begins after 1 April 2022):


Proposed update

Rates of relief

The previous effective rate of relief for non-touring productions is 16% (80% x 20%).

The previous effective rate of relief for touring productions is 20% (80% x 25%).

Temporary rates of relief

For exhibitions where the production phase begins on or after 27 October 2021, the following effect rates will be applicable:


Non touring


27/10/21– 31/3/23



1/4/23 – 31/3/24



Qualifying theatrical production criterion –

“…” theatrical production” means a dramatic production or a ballet”

“Dramatic production” means a production of a play, opera, musical or relevant dramatic piece (whether or not involving improvisation).”

Qualifying theatrical production criterion –

There is to be a definition of “relevant dramatic piece” inserted into the legislation, which is “… a dramatic piece (other than a play, opera or musical) that tells a story or a number of related or unrelated stories.

Qualifying theatrical production criterion –

Currently there are no conditions around intended audience size.

Probably not a big issue for most productions.

Qualifying theatrical production criterion –

Each performance is intended to be given to an audience of not less than five individuals.

Productions not regarded as theatrical –

Currently the list of productions not regarded as theatrical includes those if:

  • The main purpose, or one of the main purposes is to advertise or promote any goods or services.
  • The performances are to consist of or include a competition or contest.
  • The production is of a sexual nature or,

The making of a relevant recording is the main object, or one of the main objects, of the production.

Productions not regarded as theatrical –

A further item is to be added to the current list set out opposite:

  • It is produced for training purposes

Commercial purpose condition

The “commercial purpose condition” is that at the beginning of the production phase, the company intends that all, or a high proportion of, the live that it proposes to run will be –

  • To paying members of the general public, or
  • Provided for educational purposes

Commercial purpose condition

A further explanation is to be added:

A performance to members of the general public is not regarded as being to paying members unless –

  • It is separately ticketed, and
  • Is it intended that a significant proportion of the earnings from the performance should be obtained by such ticketing.

Would you like to know more?

If you have any queries regarding what we cover in our guide, please get in touch with your usual contact or email charities@azets.co.uk.

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