PC Gamer - Rockstar North has received £42 million in tax relief, according to think tank (And it allegedly hasn't paid UK corporation tax in nearly a decade.)

I feel like we’re in an ANOTHER episode of Always Sunny, where Rockstar says, “Hey guys, we’re not going to mess up this thing again, promise.”

Hard Cut to:

04%20PM

Rockstar North has received 19 percent of all tax credits paid to the games industry by the UK government and paid nothing in corporation tax for nearly a decade, according to a report from TaxWatch. The UK tax think tank estimates that the Grand Theft Auto developer has claimed around £42 million /$51 million over the last few years through the Video Games Tax Relief scheme.

“Our analysis shows that the amount claimed by Rockstar North is the equivalent of 19% of the total relief paid to the entire video games industry in the UK since the programme came into effect,” reads the report. “This raises serious questions as to whether the relief is being properly targeted, at a time when the industry is lobbying for the relief to be expanded and made more generous.”

“How is it possible that a game made in the UK,” asks the report, “generating billions of dollars in profit for its parent companies and senior management, makes a loss for tax purposes in the UK and is able to claim tax back from the government?”

3 Likes

I mean, does ANY triple A studio pay all of their taxes owed?

1 Like

In complete shock that studio that makes extremely libertarian games doesn’t pay taxes

12 Likes

There’s a difference in degree between common tax shenanigans and “the most profitable entertainment product in history took a loss on the books.”

5 Likes

For US Context, this is about 51 Million US Dollars, as it says in the article. (Roughly 46 Million Euros.)

It’s really interesting to me that you point to Rockstar as the ones screwing this up; I gravitate to, “Look at another corporation choosing to exploit the systems in place that benefit them.” Corporate and wealthy tax evasion is out of control.

9 Likes

I think what’s especially notable about this is that Rockstar sees themselves as having a punk edge. The GTA series is exploding with satire against capitalism and the culture it has created.

Of course, the irony is that 1) their satire is awful, B) they’re mostly just endorsing what they satire than actually criticize it (mainly in gameplay, less so in horrible xenophobic cartoons dunking on their bizarre concept of anime), and Fish) they’re rich off their ass.

It’s similar to the South Park situation (and thus the earlier dunk on libertarians in this thread because this sort of hypocrisy is par the course for them).

6 Likes

I think it stands out being a UK company, and one of the most profitable games companies in the world.

It’s the same reason we’re seeing Amazon take most the heat for not paying taxes in the age of huge online corporate entities.

I’m sure ALL games companies are guilty of this, but there’s nothing wrong with focusing on the worst of the worst.

2 Likes

I think the Amazon comparison is a bit off, as they carried losses forward for years, one of the complaints about them from competitors gas been, how do you compete with a company that operates at a loss for that long.

For Rockstar, the question isn’t about carrying losses, but in what country should you account for your profits. That 5 billion wasn’t made in the UK, so what they’re really upset about is that another government is collecting those taxes even though the development t studio is there. Often, it isn’t about where you build the product, but where you sell it.

After a quick look, it seems take two captures the revenue.