Tax Breaks Granted for Avatar Films

December 20, 2013 New Zealand Taxation

James Cameron’s Avatar movies are coming to New Zealand, after the government signed off on an incentive package featuring tax breaks, documentaries and red-carpet events.

Earlier this week, in a joint announcement, the Prime Minister John Key and the international film director James Cameron confirmed that the next three Avatar movies will be filmed in New Zealand, and the production would qualify for a tax rebate of 25 percent.

The rebate is granted is part of the Large Budget Screen Production Grant and the Post, Digital and Visual Effects Grant, aimed at drawing high-level productions into the country and boosting the national film industry.

The rebate rate was originally set at 15 percent, but has been increased to 20 percent, with the extra 5 percent coming from a discretionary rebate granted only to productions which will have a very significant effect on the economy.

Aside from the tax rebates, in an interview earlier this year James Cameron also said that the favorable position of the New Zealand dollar is also a strong incentive to move production to New Zealand.

It is expected that the three films will bring in an extra NZD 500 million in spending during their production.

As an extra part of the rebate package, the completed DVD and BluRay version of the film will come packaged with a short documentary aimed at highlighting New Zealand as a tourist destination.

Further, New Zealand will be given exclusive rights to host on the premiers of the movies.

Photo by: Steve Jurvetson