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Film tax legislation set to attract big budget films.



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Senator the Hon Richard Alston Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer

Film tax legislation set to attract big budget films Today the Parliament passed legislation that will provide a real incentive to the producers of big budget feature films to locate in Australia.

The Taxation Laws Amendment (Film Incentives) Bill 2002 gives effect to the Government decision to provide a refundable tax offset for large budget film production in Australia—and delivers on the Government’s announcement of the offset on 4 September 2001 as part of the Integrated Film Package.

The passage of this legislation sends a clear message to the international film community that Australia is serious about attracting big budget films to our shores, and competitive with the incentives offered by countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Big budget film production brings undeniable economic, employment and skills development benefits to Australians working in the film production industry. The offset will also showcase Australian talent—not only of our internationally recognised directors and actors, but also for our growing post-production sector, and the many other production service industries that benefit from big budget film production.

To access the refundable tax offset, films must meet certain eligibility criteria. In particular, films will have to meet a minimum requirement of at least $15 million in qualifying Australian production expenditure. Films with at least $15 million but less than $50 million in qualifying Australian expenditure will have to spend 70% of their total production expenditure in Australia.

Films with qualifying Australian production expenditure of $50 million or over will not have to meet the 70% requirement.

The refundable tax offset is to be applied at a rate of 12.5% to qualifying Australian expenditure of a film project. It is expected that this incentive will amount to approximately 10% of a film’s production cost, varying as qualifying Australian expenditure is more or less of the total production expenditure.

To be eligible, films must have been completed on or after 4 September 2001. The refundable tax offset is effective from today and can be claimed from the income year ended 30 June 2002.

The offset will be reviewed by September 2006 to evaluate its effectiveness in attracting large budget film productions and providing opportunities for employment and skill development of Australian film industry professionals.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe, Senator Alston’s office, 02 6277 7480 or 0409 445 246

Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

Nicole Johnston, Senator Coonan’s office, 02 9251 2631 or 0407 039 198

Website: www.assistant.treasurer.gov.au

14 March 2002

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