Incentives for domestic audiovisual content production are common in the Americas 27 November 23 Jose Jehuda Garcia

Governments like to incentivise audiovisual productions as a way to stimulate national and local media diversity. Film productions can also inject significant amounts of money directly into local economies by hiring local crew, renting equipment, booking hotels, and spending on services like catering and transportation. This direct spending also reverberates across communities to benefit other local businesses.

In the Americas, many countries have enacted laws or launched programmes to fund directly or otherwise incentivise film production. Cullen International’s new benchmark surveys eight countries in the region. Our research shows that all eight, except for Peru (where a legislative proposal for incentives is pending enactment), offer some sort of incentive for audiovisual production. 

Fiscal and non-fiscal incentives

The research identifies laws or programmes across the surveyed countries in two categories: fiscal incentives and non-fiscal incentives.

Fiscal incentives range from outright tax rebates and deductions of taxable income to actual refundable tax credits (which allow taxpayers to receive the full amount of the credit regardless of tax liability).

Some of the fiscal incentives can be quite generous, such as an up to US$20m deduction in the US, while some countries offer more than one tax incentive programme: Colombia, for example, makes a 35% income tax rebate and a 165% deduction available to eligible foreign filmmakers if they partner with domestic producers.

Non-fiscal incentives vary even more. In Argentina, for instance, subsidies, grants and loans are available to filmmakers in general through its National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts. There are similar programmes and still more varieties of direct funding available in the rest of the surveyed countries in the region.

The conditions applicants must meet to qualify for funding or tax-related benefits vary greatly across jurisdictions. For example, in some of the countries studied, funding and tax perks are widely available to foreign filmmakers. However, in other jurisdictions, foreigners are eligible only when they partner with domestic producers.

For more information and access to the benchmark, please click on “Access the full content” - or on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our Americas Media service.


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