Through UK’s Video Games Tax Relief program, Rockstar Games has applied for $49.2 million in tax breaks.
The Video Games Tax Relief program was created to help support small game dev studios in the UK. A UK tax watchdog group, TaxWatch UK has been keeping a close eye on Rockstar and they noted that Rockstar’s claim was the largest ever made, 37% of the total tax reliefs in 2018/19. Rockstar has so far received $105 million from the program, while paying nothing in corporate tax.
Rockstar gave a statement to VG24/7 concerning the report:
“The UK’s program to support the growth of a broad range of creative industries through tax relief is a proven success. The program has directly resulted in Rockstar Games significantly increasing its investment in the UK, creating well over 1,000 highly skilled and long term jobs across London, Lincoln, Yorkshire and Scotland," the company said in the statement, “This investment and the success of British video games supported by the program not only significantly contributes to the economy, and to UK tax receipts, but also helps solidify the UK’s position at the forefront of video game development well into the future.”
George Turner, director of TaxWatch UK, said: “It can’t have been the intention of the government in setting up the scheme to spend vast amounts of the VGTR budget on one, vastly profitable company.”
Of a total of 1,100 claims under VGTR, Rockstar now accounts for a quarter of all relief granted, and about half the budget is now going to a total of just four companies.