Hollywood is looking at a new sizable handout from Iceland.
Iceland’s film commission on Thursday announced it’s increasing tax breaks to movies and television projects that shoot in the country from 25 percent to 35 percent, launching it into the upper tier of international filming locations when it comes to incentives. Productions that qualify for the uncapped credits will be reimbursed for all costs incurred in Iceland.
Only productions that shoot for at least 30 working days in the country, create 50 local jobs and have a minimum budget of $2.7 million will qualify for the 35 percent incentive. Other productions can still apply for a 25 percent tax credit.
Iceland in 2016 raised tax breaks from 20 to 25 percent. With the most recent bump, the country puts itself in a position to draw major productions from countries experiencing shortages of stage space. Iceland’s tax incentive program stacks up against the likes of the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland and Italy, among other countries that attract large productions because of their robust tax credits. Ireland, which gives a rebate up to 37 percent, and Italy, which gives a refundable credit of up to 40 percent, are among the handful of countries that provide the entertainment industry more in incentives.
“I would say 35 percent definitely puts Iceland in the top tier of European and international incentives now,” says Joe Chianese, senior vp and practice leader at Entertainment Partners, a Los Angeles-based group that advises companies and state film offices on how to set up and structure tax incentives programs. “On top of fact that they have no annual cap, their program opens up the opportunity to draw a lot of larger productions.”