There are a number funding options available from the Austrian federal and regional governments, some of which are reliant upon the involvement of an Austrian co-producer. Funding bodies (such as Location Austria) will often assist in the search for an Austrian co-production partner if necessary.
Each funding option varies in its eligibility criteria. Some guidelines will require the hiring of local film crews or actors, or even the inclusion of elements of Austrian culture within the plot lines of the film.
An example is a fund called FISA. The fund holds €7.5m per year and is assigned to enhance co-productions. Within the fund filmmakers can claim back up to 25% of their local Austrian spend up, up to a max of €1.2m project.
Co-production treaties exist between Austria and Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Spain. Films which are being produced on the basis of such an agreement are being considered national films and are therefore eligible for funding. Multilateral co-productions and bi-lateral co-productions - in the absence of a bilateral treaty -, are also treated as national productions.
Here is a list of major funding bodies to which filmmakers can apply when producing a film in Austria:
Other incentives for filming in Austria include the fact that the country is small and well connected with excellent infrastructure, meaning that travel time between locations can be minimal, helping to keep production costs low.
Another benefit for international crews is that although Austria’s official language is German, English is taught as the second language in schools and is understood and spoken by most Austrians. The majority of film and television industry professionals are fluent in English, and many also speak additional languages.
There's no shortage of funding options in Belgium. The Belgian Tax Shelter is a government-approved tax incentive designed to encourage the production of audiovisual works. It is one of the very few audiovisual systems that applies to the whole of Belgium rather than to a particular language community. The producer is offered an attractive way to finance projects, the investor obtains tax exemption and the Belgian state benefits from increased economic activity and spending.
The Finance Ministry estimates that from 2003 to 2011 the system channeled over €600m into films and other audiovisual works. For more information visit Brussels Film Office or download this Tax Shelter document.
The Flanders Audiovisual Fund VAF Film Fund supports audiovisual productions in Flanders, as well as international co-productions with Flanders. The aims of the Fund are threefold: to develop a sustainable audiovisual industry, to encourage and support upcoming audiovisual talent and to promote a vibrant audiovisual culture in Flanders.The VAF Film Fund receives an annual grant from the Flanders government, which in 2013 was worth about €15m. A minimum of 80% of the annual budget goes to production support. Filmmakers can apply for support to fiction, documentary, animation and so-called Filmlab (experimental) projects. There are four types of support: scriptwriting, development, production and promotion support.
The VAF/Media Fund was launched in 2011 in order to support the production of independent television series, co-financed by a Flemish broadcaster. The Media Fund supports three genres of series: animation, documentary and fiction series. The BBC/HBO television series Parade's End was one of the first productions to benefit. The total budget of the Media Fund for 2013 is €5m.There are several types of support possible within the Media Fund: scriptwriting, development and production. For foreign series a minimum of 20% of the budget must be financed through a Flemish producer and the majority of the finance must already be in place. This means a minimum of 50% of the total budget must already be financed or the project must already have been granted support by a public film body.
For foreign producers interested in accessing VAF support, the best and easiest way is to first find a local producer. To find out more about the fund, see www.vaf.be/taal/en.
The CCA is the public body dealing with the support for the creation and promotion of audiovisual works in the French-speaking region (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles). The CCA has an annual budget of €23.2m which includes a financial contribution from broadcasters and audiovisual services distributors to the local audiovisual production.
On the basis of cultural criteria, CCA offers selective support (subsidies and advance on receipts) at various stage of the project’s life: scriptwriting, development, production, completion, promotion and distribution. On the basis of the commercial performance of their films, producers can also access to automatic support to reinvest in future projects.
Different types and formats are eligible for public support at CCA: feature-length and short fiction, documentary, animation - television fiction and documentary – experimental (Film Lab) and web creation.
In 2012, 31 feature films were produced, of which 25 are co-produced with foreign partners. These co-productions take place in the framework of co-production agreements signed with several countries such as France, Switzerland, Morocco, Canada and more recently China. However, foreign productions wishing to access CCA’s support schemes are advised to first find a local producer.
The Wallimage Investment Fund uses an annual €4m to support co-productions set in the region. It is purely an economic fund which supports audiovisual productions and enterprises but as said before its website hosts a wealth of knowledge including some of the latest productions taking place in the region and a who's who.
Alongside this there is Wallimage/Bruxellimage for those looking to shoot across province borders. This line, worth €2m, is funded for 50% by the Walloon Region and for 50% by the Brussels Capital Region. Claimants may submit a bid for maximum €300,000 (loan+equity). The investment determined by the fund may not be implemented unless the following two conditions are met. 1) The production company must demonstrate that it already has at least 30% of the total funding for its project. 2) It undertakes to spend at least €150,000 in each region (+/- 15 %).
On top of this a new initiative, the Screen Flanders fund, offers financial support to audiovisual productions that spend (part of) their budget within the Flanders Region. Belgian producers can apply to receive up to €400,000 refundable advances by way of economic support to cover their audiovisual expenses in the Flanders Region. Foreign producers interested in applying for the fund can co-produce with a Belgian producer that satisfies all the selection criteria.
Fiction, documentary or animation films with a running time of at least 60 minutes and animation series consisting of at least three episodes with a minimum total broadcast time of 60 minutes for the whole series are eligible. The (co-)production must enrich the cultural heritage of Flanders and invest a minimum of 250,000 euros in the Flanders Region. Every euro entrusted to a producer must yield at least one euro of audiovisual expenditure in the region. The maximum support per project is 400,000 euros.
In Belgium, it is also important to reach out to broadcasters as partners in financing. Both public and private broadcasters are obliged to invest part of their resources in independent production, either by co-producing or via pre-sales. The easiest way to succeed with finding a partner broadcaster is to first find a local producer via the Belgian producers associations or via the Francophone Film Producers' Association.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
There are no tax breaks for foreign filmmakers wanting to work in BH. For now, the focus is on building up the local production industry in other ways. There is a Film Fund, established in 2002 with an aim to provide financial support for development of cinema in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Fund has, to date, supported over 150 films, including Fuse by Pjer Žalica, Summer In The Golden Valley by Srđan Vuletić, Grbavica by Jasmila Žbanić, Snow by Aida Begić and Circus Columbia by Danis Tanović.
Also important is the Sarajevo Film Festival. The 20th Edition of the SFF involved 246 film from 60 countries and had 3000 accredited guests and 850 accredited media reps.
In 2007, Bulgaria entered into the European Union, making it considerably easier for Western businesses, including film production companies, to establish themselves in the country. It also opened up many links between the growing Bulgarian film industry and the much more established markets in countries such as France, Germany, and Britain.
There are no tax breaks for international filmmakers, however Bulgaria has now also established a number of co-production agreements with countries including Canada, Israel and France, which can be helpful for smaller budget filmmakers.
Yet undoubtedly the strongest draw for filmmakers to shoot in Bulgaria is the fact that it’s cheap. Wages are low, hotels and services are affordable and there are good exchange rates from Pounds, Euros and Dollars to the Bulgarian Lev.
It is estimated that productions shot in Bulgaria can cost around one third less than shooting in Western Europe or America.
The Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) was set up in 2008 to help stimulate the local production industry. Under CEO Hrvoje Hribar, it is widely acknowledged to have done a good job of promoting and stimulating the country’s production sector while also encouraging more inward investment. HAVC recently estimated that foreign film production spend in 2014 was almost as much as 2012 and 2013 combined.
The HAVC’s efforts were boosted in 2012 when Croatia’s Parliament greenlit a 20% cash rebate aimed at film and television productions made in the country. TV genres covered by the incentive include documentaries, animation and TV drama. At present, there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials shooting in Croatia.
In terms of the numbers, the minimum local spend per project is €300,000 and the maximum qualifying spend per project is €3m. The HAVC adds the following detail: “The benefit is based on the cost of Croatian cast and crew working in Croatia, as well as goods and services purchased in Croatia up to a maximum value of 80% of the overall budget spent in Croatia.”
The rationale for the incentive was to keep Croatia competitive with its central and eastern European rivals. It was designed in partnership with the HAVC & the Croatian Producers’ Association. In order to be eligible, foreign producers are expected to work with a Croatian co-producer and satisfy a cultural test.
There are currently no financial incentives granted to overseas companies, to film in Cyprus. However, the current policy on the incentives offered is being re-evaluated with regards to the European Directives on Film Industry. In addition, the Council of Ministers has approved the provision of professional services by external experts, with regards to conducting a detailed study on the financial and economic incentives that could be offered to overseas companies to film in Cyprus. This study is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.
The Czech Republic has a 20% cash rebate available for producers. There is no cap on the amount of grant per project, but eligible spend may not exceed 80% of a project’s total budget. Public support and state aid can provide up to 50% of the project´s total budget, up to 60% for co-production with members of the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-productions, and up to 90% for culturally demanding cinematographic works. Rebates are issued at the end of production upon submission of audited statements of costs incurred and paid out in the form of cash grants.
Projects must achieve a minimum spend of CZK 15m (approximately $800,000) for theatrical features and TV films, CZK 3m (approximately $160,000) for theatrical documentaries, and CZK 10m (approximately $530,000) for each TV episode.
There are no fiscal incentives in the form of major tax breaks currently available in Denmark. There are, however, subsidies available through the Danish Film Institute for the development and production of exclusively Danish films and for international co-productions. It is the national agency responsible for supporting and encouraging film and cinema culture and for conserving these in the national interest, and works in a similar way to its counterparts in Sweden and Norway. It is also worth noting the Copenhagen Film Fund (CFF). Worth around 5 million Euros a year, the CFF is designed to attract international production partners and has been up and running for several years now.
During the Cannes Film Festival in May 2014, a co-production agreement was signed between Denmark and New Zealand, strengthening the ties in the film and TV industries in the two countries. It allows filmmakers from both countries to seek funding from the other, as well as streamlining application processes.
Estonia launched a filming incentive for international producers in early 2016. The Estonian Film Institute (EFI) will administer a two-year pilot programme as a 30% cash rebate for shoots. A fund of €500,000 was available in 2016 and this will double for 2017.
The EFI is the largest source of film production funding in Estonia. The institute supports films which meet the following criteria: at least one of the producers is an independent Estonian production company, the total Estonian participation makes up a minimum of 10% of the budget total and at least 10% of the property rights of the film belong to an Estonian producer.
International co-productions have a distinct stipulation: 1.2 times the amount of financial support given to the project by the EFI must be spent in Estonia. Estonian producers can also apply for grants from both the EU’s MEDIA Plus programme and Eurimages for international co-productions.
The share of each recipient of support from the EFI in financing a film project has to be at least 5% of the budget; with an international co-production, there must be at least 5% of financing from Estonian sources.
The EFI offers three kinds of grants for feature films: script, development and production. Documentaries and animations are eligible for development and production funds.
Several grant application rounds are held each year. Applicants must submit a written dossier which meets guidelines set out by the EFI, which can be found on their website.
A new filming incentive was introduced with effect from 1 January 2017. The production incentive is a cash rebate model with the maximum of 25% of the spend in Finland. International co-productions are eligible for support from the Finnish Film Foundation if a Finnish co-producer is involved (covering up to 50% of the production costs for the Finnish co-producing partner). For details take a look at this document from the film foundation.
Conscious of the competitive threat from the UK and Germany, France has just improved its tax rebate for foreign features and TV productions. Known as TRIP (tax rebate for international production), the incentive rose from 20% to 30% at the start of January 2016.
As with the current TRIP programme, support will be available to productions that film in France for at least five days. But the amount a production can claim has risen significantly from €20m to € 30m. The hope is that this will a) stop runaway production and b) be attractive enough to encourage Hollywood to bring work to France.
In addition to the national incentives, France has 41 regional film commissions that can provide free assistance in the following areas: locations and pre-scouting, the search for crew, cast and extras (casting facilities are available in most film offices), administrative procedures including assistance in obtaining filming permits, logistical information (vehicle rental, lodging, etc.), production office facilities and documentation and relations with the press and local authorities.
The country also has co-production treaties with countries including China, South Africa, New Zealand and the UK.
In July 2015, the Georgian National Film Centre (GNFC) announced that a new tax rebate scheme would be launched in January 2016. Now operational, it comes in the form of a 20% cash rebate, with an additional 2-5% for productions that include aspects of Georgia.
The minimum expenditure to be eligible for the rebate is approximately US$300,000.
Aside from the new national rebate, there is also a 20% rebate available in Adjara, a semi-autonomous region on the Black Sea. Adjara’s incentive was introduced in 2012, but it is not yet clear if it is possible for producers to benefit from both rebate schemes.
In 2007, Germany launched the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF). Since then, the DFFF has supported over 520 film productions with grants totalling €296m. International co-productions can qualify for a rebate of up to 20%. This funding measure has played a major role in raising Germany’s profile as a film location and increasing the international competitiveness of the German film industry vs rival countries.
Although still in existence, in 2014 the government cut funding for this popular federal film tax incentive, reducing the amount available to €50m for 2015. It had previously stood at €70m The news of the cuts came as a shock to German and international producers, particularly after German culture minister Monika Grutters assured local producers in February 2014 that funding for DFFF would not be touched. Pledging to restore the finance, she succeded as of December 2014 increasing the funding with effect from 2016.
The DFFF aside, German support isn’t just limited to national level. A number of regional film funds provide efficient support to productions of any budget. Nearly all German states grant funds and additional soft money depending on local expenditure. The country has many regional film commissions, each of which is able to provide detailed information about regional and national filming incentives while also providing production support.
Greece is currently planning to launch a 25% rebate sometime in 2018. Productions spending at least €100,000 will be eligible for support and there will be a per-production cap of €5m. The government has earmarked a fund of €450m over five years.
Films for cinema and TV, produced in Hungary are eligible for a 25% rebate based on their expenditure in the country (an incentive which has increased the value of the sector to Hungary significantly).
A wide variety of projects are eligible but have to have a local partner on board and also pass a cultural test. As an added incentive, producers can spend 25% of the budget outside Hungary without any adverse impact on the incentive. For more details take a look at the site of the Hungarian Film Fund. Hungary also has a number of co-production treaties with territories like Germany, Italy, France and Ireland.
All film categories qualify – feature, animation, documentary, experimental, tv-film, mini-series.
Those choosing Iceland for filming can take advantage of special legislation, which aims to reimburse some of their expenditure. Producers can apply to the Ministry of Industries and Innovation for 25% of the production costs incurred during their time filming in Iceland. However, applications must be made in advance of the production starting, and it is worth noting the scheme does not cover the production of music videos or commercials.
As of January 2015, Ireland's film and TV tax credits have risen from 28% to 32%. And from 1st of May 2016 the expenditure per project which can be supported by the Film Tax Credit increased to €70 million.
Below some more information on the changes and their implications:
Section 481 - The Irish Tax Incentive for Film and Television
What is Section 481?
Section 481 is a tax incentive for film and television made in Ireland.
What type of projects qualify?
The incentive applies to Feature Film, Television Drama, Animation (feature film and television) and Creative Documentary.
How much is the Section 481 benefit worth?
Projects can derive a benefit of up to 28% of their qualifying expenditure.
What constitutes qualifying expenditure?
The benefit is based on the cost of both EU and non-EU cast and crew working in Ireland, and goods and services purchased in Ireland, up to a maximum value of 80% of the global budget.
When is it paid?
The Section 481 net benefit is made available to the production on the first day of principal photography or on the financial closing of the film. The incentive is guaranteed until December 2015.
Is there a cap on the amount of Section 481 that can be raised?
Yes, there is a ceiling of 250m on qualifying expenditure per project.
How does it works from the foreign producer point of view?
The foreign producer must team up with a local Irish co-producer. The Irish co-producer applies to the Irish Revenue Commissioners for a Section 481 certificate. The issuance of this certificate allows the Section 481 finance to be raised. The certificate will stipulate various conditions such as: the maximum amount of Section 481 finance which can be raised, the identity of crew, the number of trainees, etc. The Irish co-producer is responsible for compliance with all the conditions of the certificate.
The Irish co-producer provides the full range of production services including locations scouting, scheduling, budgeting, casting, crewing and takes full responsibility for all production services carried out in the State throughout the life-span of the production.
Other Sources of Finance
Irish Film Board
Ireland‘s national film agency supports Irish film-making from script to screen. Visit the Irish Film Boardfor more information about IFB production and development funding schemes.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is an independent regulator for radio and television broadcasters in Ireland. The BAI Sound and Vision Fund supports high quality programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience, and programmes to improve adult literacy.
RTÉ is Ireland’s national public service broadcaster.
TV3 is Ireland’s commercial television broadcaster.
Ireland’s competitive tax incentive, experienced talent base, and distinctive yet adaptable landscapes make Ireland a unique and valuable co-production partner. Ireland has co-produced with almost every European territory, as well as Canada and Australia. Ireland is a party to the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production which enables co-production of feature films amongst members of the EU and some EEA states. Ireland also has bi-lateral co-production agreements with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Luxembourg.
Italy offers a 25% tax credit as a formal filming incentive and crucially each production company involved with a specific shoot can claim up to €10m back on their investment - the figure was increased from €5m in 2014.
Regional financial support is also available from a network of nearly a dozen smaller film funds. The best way to explore these is to go via the Italian Film Commission website. This acts as a gateway to the various funds (for example in Lazio, Tuscany and the Veneto region around Vicenza). While the ultimate goal of these funds is to back Italian projects, there is scope for foreign producers to secure funds for productions that tick the right boxes.
The Riga Film Fund offers a base rebate of 20% for international shoots and official co-productions that work with Latvian companies. The rebate increases to 25% for stories actually set in Riga or where the city itself is in some way a major part of the narrative.
At the start of 2014, a new 20% location filming incentive became available. This incentive scheme will run for four years. Both foreign and local producers can benefit from the scheme and it will be administered by the Lithuanian Film Center.
One necessity is that at least 80% of all production spending must be in Lithuania, with a minimum of €51,731 (approximately £37,080) and a maximum amount of funding that can not exceed 20% of the production costs.
In 2014, Macedonia introduced a filming tax incentive in the form of a 20% cash rebate on qualifying Macedonian spend. The best place to start with any specific enquiries about how to apply and qualifying criteria is the Macedonian Film Agency.
Financial incentives for shooting in Malta are in the form of a cash rebate of up to 27% given to qualifying productions on their eligible EU expenditure incurred in Malta.
In April 2014, along with an increased cash rebate of up to 27%, it was announced that the rebate also includes post-production as an eligible cost (€150k cap per project), and extends to international TV series and transmedia.
To qualify for the incentive, the production should send an application to the commission. If provisionally approved, they will respond no later than three weeks after receipt of application.
International observers often group Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg together as a single market as the Benelux region. However, all three have different qualities, such as tax incentives and locations.
The Netherlands film commission and the Netherlands Film Fund are able to offer producers funding for their feature, documentary or animation feature. The Netherlands Film Fund is ultimately responsible for supporting film production in the Netherlands and offers a cash rebate of up to 30% for high-end TV projects, or up to 35% for films.
The production incentive provides for features and feature-length animation projects with a minimum production budget of €1m euro, and for documentaries with a minimum budget of €250,000. The maximum grant per application is €1.5m. At least 50% of the financing of the production budget should be in place upon application with the allocation from the Dutch fund bringing the financing to completion.
High-end TV drama is also covered by the incentive, with varying amounts depending on the genre.
The Netherlands is renowned when it comes to documentary filmmaking, mainly due to IDFA - the world's biggest documentary festival taking place in Amsterdam every November. In a move to strengthen Dutch documentaries internationally in 2013, the Netherlands Film Fund and the Norwegian Film Institute signed an agreement for the co-production of documentaries. The agreement furthered a broader co-operation between Norway and the Netherlands on film in general and documentaries specifically.
The Netherlands and Germany also have a co-production agreement. It contains regulations that go beyond the European Convention on Cinematographic Coproduction. The arrangement allows co-producers to access national public funds in both countries.
The Netherlands also has co-production treaties with Canada, France, Germany, China, South Africa and the French Community of Belgium. Furthermore the Netherlands Film Fund collaborates in international reciprocal co-production schemes with the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Norwegian Film Institute, the Hubert Bals Fund and the Mitteldeutsche Medienforderung MDM.
The Norweigan government offers a 25% filming rebate. The incentive consists of a film fund of €4.7m for the first year. Part of the reason for the incentive is to attract international productions. But Norway has also been losing domestic productions to Iceland, which already has a film incentive scheme. So the new setup is partly about keeping work from leaving the country.
The incentive is one of a broad range of measures designed to support the local industry. For example, it will also include a financial reinforcement of the six regional film centres, which will in the future be organised by a new department of the Norwegian Film Institute to be established in Bergen. The process of applying for film support will also be simplified.
The Polish Film Institute also runs its own fund which covers up to a maximum of 50% of total budget. It processes additional project funding applications within the framework of the relevant operational programme four times a year. On average, the assessment procedure lasts about three months; however, the entire period between application approval and signing of the contract may exceed six months. In relation to applications, foreign producers are required to appear at meetings in Poland. Additional project funding from the Polish Film Institute can be granted in the form of subsidies, loans or warranties.
As of March 2018, Portugal offers a refundable tax credit of up to 30% for feature films spending at least €1m. Incentive payments are capped at €4m per-production.
For information about other kinds of support iavailable to producers, you can contact the Lisbon Film Commission who can advise for filming in and around the capital. There are three other key state-funded film commissions covering the Azores, Porto and the Algarve.
Cost savings have inspired interest in Serbia, which in early 2018 boosted its filming incentive rebate percentage and the size of its film fund after supporting nearly 30 projects in 2017. The country now offers a 25% rebate – marking a 5% increase – and in early 2018 had a film fund on offer of €6.7m.
In terms of promotion, the Serbia Film Commission is doing a good job both at markets and via its website where you can find lots of detail about locations and local firms.
A Slovenian Film Fund provides grants to homegrown film-makers. But until now there have been no specific incentives to encourage foreign film and TV production into the country.
Having said this, there were reports from the 2014 Berlinale International Film Festival that the Slovenian government is on the verge of approving a cash incentive on audiovisual productions.
Slovenia’s film commissioner Aleš Gorišek said a planned incentive would be looked at by government on 21 March and is “extremely likely to pass”.
If approved, Slovenia will offer a 20% cash incentive on all qualified production spend with a minimum of €200,000 and a maximum of €2m. This proposal would be valid for all audiovisual productions, including documentaries, television production and animation.
Gorišek said the tax incentive would “level the playing field” enabling Slovenia to compete with Italy and Croatia. He added: “There is more than just the foreign direct investment to keep in mind. There’s also a possible economic gain through secondary investment and what they call the induced effect – what we gain from promoting of Slovenia through production.”
Spain offers a 20% federal tax credit for international productions that spend at least €1m, while the Spanish Canary Islands offer a tax rebate of up to 40%. The incentive is capped at €3m per-production on the mainland and €4.5m on the Canaries.
Separate tax breaks are also available to shoots that qualify as Spanish co-productions.
Sweden’s production community has been lobbying for tax breaks this year. Echoing the situation in Norway, the industry is worried that, without some kind of government support, work will go elsewhere in Europe. As yet there has been no response from the government. That said, foreign producers can apply for financing from one of four regional film funds or the national film fund – subject to conditions being met.
One of these funds is Film i Vast, on Sweden’s west Coast. Film i Vast says: “To be eligible for financing, part of the film’s production must be done in West Sweden, this can be in the form of shooting days or post production. Film i Vast is an equity investor, and can invest up to 100% of the production costs allocated to West Sweden. Now involved in 30-40 film and TV projects annually, it is the most significant source of funding for films in Sweden, after the Swedish Film Institute, and finances more international productions than any entity in Scandinavia.”
The Switzerland Film Investment Refund (PICS) was launched in summer 2016 and offers a rebate of between 20% and 40% of billable costs, up to the equivalent of $616,000 per-production, for Swiss co-producers. The programme has an annual fund of just under $3m.
For details of how Switzerland might be able to help your production contact Film Location Switzerland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Switzerland also has formal co-production agreements with Germany, Austria, Canada, France, Belgium and Italy. In such cases, the minimal Swiss participation required usually varies between 10% and 30%.
The recent introduction of tax rebates has led to films like Argo seeing Turkey as a legitimate alternative to the Middle East and North Africa. Argo is reported to have received a US $300,000 tax rebate. There are now plans to make Turkey even more competitive by offering industry incentives. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is looking at a package that will give filmmakers up to 25% of the expenditures they make while shooting a film in Turkey. This is expected to be a major factor in encouraging Hollywood productions into Turkey. Already Hollywood films provide a big boost to Turkey in terms of inward investment and thousands of jobs being created.
With regard to production of cinematographic works approved by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, foreign film producers can receive returns of the VAT paid during procurement and import of the goods and services that they buy within the duration of film shooting.
Foreign film producers can submit their requests for VAT returns to one of the following offices:
Ankara Tax Department - Baskent Tax Office
Istanbul Tax Department - Beyoglu Tax Office
Izmir Tax Department - Konak Tax Office
Foreign film producers can submit their requests for VAT returns through a petition to the relevant tax office after the film shooting period has expired. The film shooting period is designated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
VAT returns are processed on condition that a report submitted was drawn up by a certified financial accountant (CFA).
VAT returns are finalised within 30 days following the submission of a complete CFA report.
In the spring of 2017, Ukraine announced a rebate of 16.6% as a formal filming incentive but international producers should refer to the Ukraine Film Office for full details.
Support for film culture and the film industry in the UK is extensive, with tax breaks in place for film, high-end TV, animation and children's live action drama. The BFI's cultural test is in place to determine which productions qualify.
For film, a tax relief is available to productions that are identified as British and spend at least 25% of their production costs in the UK. This includes pre-production, principal photography and post-production. As of 21 August 2015 producers could benefit from the availability of a tax relief at 25% on all production expenditure regardless of the budget of the production. (Before 21 August 2015 productions received 25% tax relief on the first £20m and only 20% after).
In April 2013, a tax relief was introduced by the government to high-end TV (in particular drama) and animation, applying to productions with budgets exceeding £1m per hour of TV.
If a tax relief is granted to a production (providing it also identified as British or European in the Cultural Test), it can claim back 25% back as a cash payment, provided that money is spent on core production expenditure.
In April 2015, a tax relief of 25% of production expenditure to children's live action drama also came into effect.
For further details about tax relief for both film and high-end TV, the British Film Institute (BFI) certification unit should be the first point of contact, which can be contacted here. Applicants are encouraged to contact the certification unit as early as possible to discuss their applications.
There are also various regional funding bodies such as Screen Yorkshire whose finance can be used on top of the UK national tax relief.