The digital games industry is a fast growing, dynamic and exciting creative sector. We advise the Australian Government about how to promote the growth of Australia's digital games development industry and increase its market share in a rapidly expanding global sector.
Digital Games Tax Offset
The Digital Games Tax Offset (DGTO) supports Australia’s digital games industry by providing eligible game developers with a 30 per cent refundable tax offset for qualifying Australian development expenditure on eligible games from 1 July 2022.
It is available for completion, porting or ongoing development (live ops) on eligible digital games, subject to:
- eligibility criteria set out in Division 378 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, including certification by the Arts Minister; and
- at least $500,000 of qualifying expenditure.
The offset is capped at $20 million per company (or group of companies that are connected or affiliated) per income year. Reaching this cap requires approximately $66.7 million in eligible expenditure.
There are three different types of certificates for the DGTO. They are:
- Completion Certificate: a certificate for a digital game completed in the income year in respect of which the offset is claimed, with costs able to be incurred across one or more income years;
- Porting Certificate: a certificate for a digital game that has been ported in the income year in respect of which the offset is claimed, year, with costs able to be incurred across one or more income years; and
- Ongoing Development Certificate: a certificate in relation to ongoing development of one or more previously released digital game in the income year in respect of which the offset is claimed.
'Dos' and 'Don'ts' for DGTO applicants
You can apply for a DGTO certificate online
Your application will be assessed by the Digital Games Tax Offset Advisory Board. If eligible the Minister for the Arts will issue a certificate for the DGTO. You need this certificate to claim the offset as part of your relevant income year Australian tax return, and the offset amount will be paid out less any existing tax liabilities.
You can apply for a provisional certificate any time to find out whether your game is likely to qualify for the DGTO. A provisional certificate does not provide a guarantee of receiving a final certificate; but it does indicate whether you may be eligible for a final certificate.
DGTO Provisional Certification
For taxation matters, including how to claim the DGTO in your tax return, you should speak with your tax professional or:
Division 378 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
Income Tax Assessment (Digital Games Tax Offset) Rules 2023