The Business Promotion Act provides fiscal incentives for companies engaged in certain target sector activities, including the film industry. Tax credits are computed as a percentage of either the value of capital investment or the value of wages for 24 months, covering new jobs created as a result of an investment project. Facilities for filming and audiovisual productions qualify for investment tax credits.
Malta Trading Companies are onshore business companies taxable on a worldwide basis at the normal corporate tax rate of 35%. Shareholders are entitled to a six-sevenths refund, reducing their effective tax rate to 5% at shareholder level. Malta’s corporate tax rate is chargeable on company’s profits after deducting all allowable business expenses. Maltese companies are able to conduct any business activity, whether in Malta or outside Malta, including buying and selling of commodities, agency and representation, consulting and advisory services, e-commerce, online gaming and financial services.
Malta has attractive financial incentives applicable to the film industry. Productions which satisfy a cultural test can benefit from a rebate up to 25% of eligible expenditure with an additional 2% if the production features Malta as Malta. Qualifying productions are required to present a provisional application to the Malta Film Commission, including a detailed projection of the Malta budget for the production. The rebate is given once filming is complete. Value Added Tax in Malta stands at 18% and is fully refundable.
The Government of Malta has recently allocated a €1 million budget for film co-productions. The main purpose of the fund is to encourage collaboration between Maltese and foreign companies to produce films and TV series for international distribution.
Malta has been a member of the European Convention on Cinematorgraphic co-production since September 2001. The aim of this Convention is to promote the development of European multilateral cinematographic co-production, to safeguard creation and freedom of expression and defend the cultural diversity of the various European countries. Malta has also signed a bilateral co-production treaty with Canada.
Malta’s flexible and highly trained, multi-lingual workforce is the Islands’ most valuable asset. Labour costs in Malta remain below the Western European average. Foreign companies based in Malta all comment favourably on their experience with the local employees in terms of productivity, adaptability and rapid response times. Production managers, production coordinators, assistant directors, location managers, camera assistants, special effects supervisors and many other positions can be hired from Malta. The salaries of the local personnel are extremely competitive when compared to mainland Europe such as UK, France, Spain & Italy.
There are several casting agencies that can supply hundreds of extras a day.Casting agents can source large numbers of extras as well as secondary role actors. The cost of an extra is usually between €60-€75 per day (including food allowance).
Malta’s climate is one of the best in the world with filmmakers opting to film in Malta because of the guaranteed long hours of daylight. Malta offers excellent amount of shooting hours per day, with 12 hours in summer and 10 shooting hours in Winter.
Malta has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world by the United Nations (World Risk Report 2013).
Enquiries or permits for the use of public locations for filming activities can be obtained from the Government Property Division however filming in specific areas such as palaces, forts, towers, beaches and any other protected sites requires special permits from various Government entities. The Malta Film Commission will facilitate the procedures to apply for these permits.
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