Country Focus: Italy
EC approves €82m in tax incentives for cultural films
by Camillo de Marco
24/07/2009 - The European Commission (EC) has approved a second package, worth €82m, of film tax incentives proposed by the Italian government. The incentives in question, a tax credit and tax shelter, are relative to spend and investment in creating and distributing European cultural films by businesses outside the film sector, and distribution and exhibition companies.
For the General Direction for Cinema of the Ministry of Culture (MiBAC), "the approval of tax incentives for businesses outside the film sector that decide to invest in quality films is a fundamental step for the industry’s future in Italy. This opens up important scenarios, given the vast number of interested parties who could pour resources into film production. Not to mention the incentives for film distributors, which should also allow for better circulation of films of cultural content".
The EC has also opened a formal investigation into a proposed 30% tax credit for installing digital projection equipment in Italian cinemas. However, in a press release the Commission writes that "it has concerns that the measure may mainly benefit large multiplexes which should need less support".
The incentives for installing digital projection equipment in Italian cinemas – the so-called tax credit for digital cinema – will be at the centre of a European workshop to be held October 21 during the 4th Rome International Film Festival.
According to the MiBAC, "The European Commission has refrained from pronouncing an opinion on the matter, as the EU does not yet have a defined policy or guidelines on the subject. In order to get input on the proposed Italian measure and this important problem, it is opening a ‘public consultation’ with other EU countries".