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INDUSTRY / MARKET Iceland

Iceland raises its film refund incentive from 25% to 35% for major productions

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- Announced by Film in Iceland on 16 June, the provision is set to boost the country’s attractiveness as a place for filming large film and TV projects

Iceland raises its film refund incentive from 25% to 35% for major productions
Iceland’s Minister of Culture, Lilja Alfredsdottir (© Gummi Thor)

On 16 June, Film in Iceland announced a 10% increase in the country’s film refund incentive programme, bringing it from 25% up to 35% for major productions.

Iceland’s Minister of Culture, Lilja Alfredsdottir, warmly welcomed the provision, which was recently approved by the Parliament: “The widespread backing in Parliament by all parties is a testament to the support that the film industry enjoys in Iceland. Since the introduction of the first reimbursement scheme in 1999, Iceland has been fully committed to building a fruitful long-term relationship with stakeholders in the film industry. The new bill offers enhanced incentives and represents one step of many that Iceland has taken to underline that commitment.”

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This new hike follows 2016’s decision to increase the tax break from 20% to 25%.

“With up to a 35% refund on production costs, a stunning variety of locations within reach of each other and highly experienced film crews, filming in Iceland offers a unique opportunity for all filmmakers,” advertises filminiceland.com. The reimbursement scheme is described as “simple, transparent and effective”, and in particular, “production costs refer to all costs incurred in Iceland deductible from the revenues of enterprises pursuant to the provisions of the Act on Income Tax”.

According to the website, in order to benefit from the 35% refund incentive, a production must fulfil three requirements. First, production costs incurred in the production of the motion picture or television material must be a minimum of 350 million Icelandic crowns (circa€2.51 million). Second, the project must have a minimum of 30 working days in Iceland, either consisting of actual shooting days or defined post-production working days (of the 30 working days, a minimum of ten shooting days in Iceland is, however, always required). Third, the number of staff working directly on the project shall be a minimum of 50, and this work shall amount to 50 working days. Both salary and payments to employees and contractors must be taxed in Iceland.

Moreover, films and television programmes made in Iceland receive European content status and can thus be released in Europe without affecting any quotas on the release of non-European content material. In addition, Icelandic productions can also receive grants offered by the EU and its member countries.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the reimbursement scheme does not include the production of adverts or music videos.

You can find out more about the programme here.

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