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Ukraine welcomes ‘historic’ tax rebate law

Ukrainian producers are today celebrating the introduction of state-supported television and film tax rebates aimed at making the territory a competitive coproduction centre.

Victoria YarmoshchukThe new law allows TV producers to cover up to 50% of production expenditure as a grant from the state, with the news even better for film producers, who can quality for 80% rebates. The previous maximum rate was 50%.

Overseas producers will be able to apply for 25% rebates on their costs, meaning Ukraine overnight becomes a much more hospitable place to film.

The development was described as “historic” and one that showed Ukrainian state support for production was “radically changing”.

The news comes after a period of intense government lobbying, which was been conducted to a backdrop of political turbulence and violence and after popular Russian programmes were banned in the territory.

In order to avoid shell prodcos from accessing the finds with no intention of actually producing content, applicant producers will undergo an annual, competitive selection process. Those successful receiving financial assistance on at least two films, television series or telemovies.

Each selected company will have to pass a cultural and production test that assesses their production and financial management expertise.

Furthermore, the new law requires the state to provide financial refunds of up to 25% of production money spent in Ukraine and 10% of costs paying cast and crew who are not residents and do not pay income tax, to local and foreign producers.

Money will also be made available for development, pre-production and post-production, as well as international distribution and festival promotion.

“For the Ukrainian film industry, the new law on cinema, which, among other things, introduces the system of cash rebates [25%] for foreign producers of film and television, is a huge step forward, because now Ukraine has become competitive on the global coproduction market,” said Victoria Yarmoshchuk, executive director of the Ukrainian Motion Picture Association.