Rockstar er en af de største spiludviklere i verden, og Grand Theft Auto Vs store succes skyldes blandt andet det UK-baserede Rockstar North.
En rapport fra Tax Watch UK skriver dog, at Rockstar North har gjort krav på 42 millioner engelske pund i fradrag fra Video Game Tax Relief programmet, der blev introduceret i 2014 for at støtte "culturally British" spil.
"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. 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," skriver Tax Watch.
"This report also raises questions as to whether an appropriate amount of profit has been allocated to the UK companies involved in the game's development. Seven active companies based in the UK, using the Take-Two and Rockstar names, declared a total profit before tax of £47.3m in the UK between 2013 and 2018. However, over the same period we estimated the operating profit of games published by Rockstar to be in the region of $5bn."
Tax Watch tilføjer, at programmet har kostet 35 millioner pund om året, og det var meningen, at det skulle undergå en undersøgelse af programmet efter dets tre første år, men det ser ud til, at det aldrig er fundet sted.
"Although the statutory accounts of Rockstar North, the maker of Grand Theft Auto V, state that the company is hardly making any profit, the game is widely reported to be the most profitable media product in history," står der i rapporten.
"Grand Theft Auto has been referred to by some as a "Great British Export". However, a brief look at the accounts of the UK based developer of the game, with its slender profits, would not lead one to that conclusion. Rather than a picture of success, the accounts of the developers of the game, Rockstar North, show that the company has earned so little that they have been eligible to claim tax credits from the government."
"The situation is absurd. The large amounts of subsidy that Rockstar North has been able to claim from the UK government demonstrates that the Video Games Tax Credit system is not working as intended. The government should hold an immediate review into its effectiveness."
Der står samtidig i rapporten, at hverken Rockstar eller Take-Two selskaberne i UK har betalt selskabsskat i det sidste årti. Hele analysen kan læses her.