Violent video games can’t get a break from tax reform

Written by James Redmond

The recently released draft of the Tax Reform Act of 2014 would deny a permanent and improved research and development tax credit to the makers of violent video games.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) released the Tax Reform Act of 2014 draft Feb. 26.

The bill’s executive summary states that the tax reform act provides: “An improved, permanent [research and development] tax credit, finally giving American manufacturers the certainty they need to compete against their foreign competition who have long had permanent [research and development] incentives.”

The summary states the act “stops the practice of using the tax code to pick winners and losers based on political power rather than economic merit.” However, the bill excludes companies that make violent video games from the tax credit.

Video games do not get targeted in a subtle way, on page 24 of the summery it states that it reduces tax rates and closes loopholes by “preventing makers of violent video games from qualifying for the [research and development] tax credit.”

The bill contradicts itself by claiming to not pick winners and losers and then taking aim at companies who make violent video games.

Because it targets violence in video games, the bill could financially exclude American companies such as Activision Blizzard which not only make games such as Diablo and Prototype, but also non-violent games like Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero. Same thing with Electronic Arts which has Titanfall about to release, the ongoing Battlefield series and an extensive amount of non-violent games in the sports genre.

The complete 979 page draft legislation is available here.

About the author

James Redmond


  • You know they could really simplify everything by abolishing the IRS and having both corporate and personal income tax at 15% and that’s it.

    • No, Kenny. You’re doing government wrong. You need to create as many positions as possible. It must be bigger, not smaller.

  • This is interesting, one of those “I’ll know it when I see it” kind of vibes?

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