Cyprus Introduces Incentives for Global Film Industry

Towards the end of 2017, the Cyprus Council of Ministers approved an incentives programme for the film industry in Cyprus. The programme aims to attract international productions to Cyprus and includes a great array of economic incentives.  The Unit of Administrative Reform in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the organisation Invest Cyprus (CIPA) were the bodies heavily involved with preparing and designing the incentives programme.

Cyprus is an ideal filming location because of its rich history and culture, varied landscape, short distances, central location, safe environment and 325 days of sunshine. What’s more, a large availability of film and media industry professionals already based in Cyprus are able to offer their support to film-makers from abroad.

Incentives and general criteria for attracting interest:

  • Entry and residence permits to persons from abroad involved in a production;
  • Filming licenses;
  • Work permits, customs clearance and import of equipment and consumables;
  • Provision of information via an online platform for shooting sites, local workforce and equipment;
  • Provision of all relevant applications, instructions and information in relation to the applicable procedures;
  • Cash rebate to the company responsible for the production with a maximum amount of €650,000 per production in a period of 12 continues months.
  • Tax credit, including the deduction of corporate tax to the company responsible for the production, as an alternative to the cash rebate.
  • Tax deduction for investments in infrastructure and equipment. Small and medium businesses are entitled to a tax deduction when they invest in the filming infrastructure and in technical equipment equal to the amount of their investment.
  • VAT refund on eligible expenditure. For any eligible expenditure incurred in Cyprus by natural or legal persons, relating to the production, the interested person will be entitled to a VAT refund.

The benefits deriving from the promotion of the filming industry in Cyprus:

  • Creation of expertise in Cyprus and opening new jobs;
  • Establishment of co-operations between local industry executives and foreign counterparts;
  • Development of infrastructure and equipment;
  • Indirect encouragement of the development of film funds relating to productions;
  • Capital inflow to Cyprus from productions;
  • Provision of services from Cypriot professionals;
  • Studies show that for every €1 spent for the development of the filming sector, there is a €7 surplus;
  • Promotion of Cyprus as an attractive destination for filming productions;
  • Promotion of Cyprus as a tourist destination and strengthening the tourism sector.

Additional incentives which will already apply in Cyprus and can benefit from investing in the filming sector:

  • Access to the naturalization by exception through investment in Cyprus;
  • Duty free imports/exports on filming equipment;
  • Set-off of carried forward losses relating to other sources of income of a company for the following 5 years;
  • Non-domiciled individual’s rules apply;
  • Tax deductions on new capital injected into Cyprus companies;
  • IP Box regime benefits.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specific advice for your specific circumstances can be sought from our firm’s experts.  For further information or clarifications, please contact Soulla Dionysiou at DP Law at sdionysiou@dplawcyprus.com info@dplawcyprus.com / +357 22 272360

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