It looks like Rockstar North has been hard at work on an upcoming Grand Theft Auto title, according to a new UK tax report. Although the developer has studios all over the world, the main headquarters of Rockstar North is located inside the United Kingdom, a fact which had previously spurred the same watchdog company that released this new report to recommend Rockstar be investigated for tax avoidance.
Even though they have developed some of the most profitable pieces of entertainment ever created, Rockstar has filed for multiple government tax relief bonuses over the years. The continuing success of Grand Theft Auto V, which is still one of the most played games even seven years after its release, when compared to the amount of deductions Rockstar has made, has raised multiple eyebrows in the tax community, with some even calling for a need to re-write the way the UK deals with video game tax breaks due to this perceived abuse of the system.
Now, TaxWatch UK has revealed that Rockstar’s claim for the 2018 – 2019 tax year was “by far the largest for Video Games Tax Relief granted by HMRC” that year, with the GTA & Red Dead Redemption developer accounting for a whopping 37% of all claims made by the video games industry in the United Kingdom for that time period. According to the report, the reason for such a high claim from Rockstar was due to the “production of the next edition of GTA, rumored to be scheduled for release soon.”
Overall, Rockstar has claimed more than £37.6 million in Video Game Tax Relief, an amount which could speak to the high production cost of an upcoming sequel to Grand Theft Auto V. Rockstar’s most recent title, Red Dead Redemption 2, was one of the most expensive video games ever produced, and the high levels of quality the company strives for across all of their titles means it is quite likely Grand Theft Auto VI will cost at least as much, if not more so, than its predecessors.
With that being said, and exciting as it is to hear some sort of confirmation about Grand Theft Auto 6 news maybe coming sooner than expected, it seems like Rockstar is still taking advantage of government tax relief funds which were originally instituted to make things easier for small developers, not multi-national companies with the highest-grossing entertainment media of all time under their belt. While right now all players have to go on about a new Grand Theft Auto are tax claim numbers and numerical data, hopefully such a large percentage of relief going to just one company will raise some eyebrows in the UK, and then maybe the government will take a closer look at how the tax rules are defined. Fans can only hope such investigations, should they come to pass, cause no game delays.
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Source: TaxWatch UK