Industry Report: Focus: Asia & Oceania
Tax breaks to stimulate film in Thailand
15/09/2010 - The cabinet yesterday approved in principle tax incentives to stimulate film shooting in Thailand, with a goal to support the local movie production industry.The incentives include a full value-added tax refund and an income tax exemption for foreign actors, who are now charged about 10%.
Ministers also agreed to offer a special express lane and facilitate work permits.
The Finance and Tourism and Sports ministries will propose more details of the tax rebates as well as the extent of tax credits within a month.
Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa said the cabinet turned down a proposal to cut tariffs on imported equipment, as the Board of Investment already offers this incentive. According to a ministry report, taxes represent up to 10% of foreign film production costs.
The incentives would create jobs if they attract more films to Thailand, even if the government loses some revenue, said Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij.
Last year, 496 foreign films ranging from features to TV series, commercials and music videos were shot in Thailand generating 897.83 million baht in income, down 56% from 2 billion in 2008.
The government had expected Thailand would generate about 2 billion baht this year from foreign film shoots. But political violence prompted productions to delay shooting in Thailand, costing the country 800-900 million baht.
Several productions from the UK, Pakistan, Japan, Korea and Australia moved to neighbouring countries such as Cambodia.