Croatia Approves Tax Incentives Bill

By FNE Staff

    ZAGREB: The Croatian Parliament adopted an amendment to it Audiovisual Law which introduces a 20% tax rebate for film production costs. The law was passed on 15 July 2011.

    The amendments to the existing 2007 Film Act, which were put forward by the Ministry of Culture, provide financial incentives in the form of a 20% cash rebate for production costs incurred in Croatia for feature films, documentaries, animation and TV drama. The draft envisages a€600.000 cash rebate per project, which means 20% of €3m qualifying local expenditure per project.The reserved amount to for the first year of the Cash Rebate program will be a minimum of approximately €3m. In case of larger amounts demanded, a request for bigger reserved amount of funding will be made to the Ministry of Finance.

    The introduction of this incentive was supported by the Croatian Producers' Association, whose members took an active part in devising the scheme along with other stakeholders in the audiovisual sector, as well as the Ministry of Culture that sponsored the bill.

    Speaking on the behalf of the Croatian Producers' Association, its president Ankica Jurić Tilić said, "The introduction of incentives is a major step forward, the step which will benefit us all in the longer run. The bigger the market, the bigger the volume and quality of work."

    The amended Film Act marks a first step towards realisation of strategic goals outlined in the four-year National Strategic Programme for the Audiovisual Industry, devised by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and approved by the Ministry of Culture in October 2010. The Croatian Audiovisual Centre is a government-backed strategic film agency, set up in 2008 which has since taken the overall responsibility for the growth of Croatia's audiovisual industry. Its activity ranges from supporting development, production, distribution, exhibition, marketing and promotion, to professional training and supporting national film archive through the system of public subsidies. The Centre also promotes Croatian films and co-productions at all major film festivals and markets.

    The Centre is funded by the grant-in-aid from the Government and through contributions of those exploiting audiovisual works, such as broadcasters; digital, cable and satellite operators, Internet providers, telecoms, etc. Among other amendments to the existing 2007 Film Act, and approved today, were those aimed at streamlining the paying-in mechanisms by contributors, other than State.

    Upon hearing the news, the Chief Executive of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre Hrvoje Hribar issued this brief statement: "The goal of introducing this Amended Film Act, without going into all the finer details of this rather complex legal text, was to create a legal platform which would enable us, the Croatian filmmaking community to express ourselves to our fullest potential, both as creatives and entrepreneurs and to communicate more effectively with others through the most potent storytelling medium at our disposal: the moving image. We strongly believe that these amendments to the existing Croatian Film Act will help us improve the quality of our national film and TV output, and at the same time enabling us to reap the benefits of strong inward investment, which will inevitably invigourate our home-grown production. Which I can only see as going from strength to strength, benefiting from a modern, efficient and forward looking system of support we now finally have in place.

    "I want to thank, first of all, my hard-working and dedicated team at the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, as well as numerous film professionals who contributed to the debate. My heartfelt thanks go also to ever-efficient civil servants and state officials at the Ministry of Culture, above all to our Minister of Culture and our Secretary of State for Culture. This not forgetting the input and support we received from the Ministry of Finance and Croatia's Competition Commisision: who all managed to navigate smoothly through complex and sometimes baffling issues. Last but not the least, I want to thank the members of the Croatian Parliament who recognized the far-reaching importance of this Amended Film Act and voted for it with acclamation.''

    Source: HVAC