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Industry guidelines Ngā aratohu ahumahi

Recent changes to legislation

Screen production industry grants

In November 2003, the Large Budget Screen Production Grant (LBSPG) scheme was introduced, which provides a grant of 15% (prior to 16 July 2007 it was 12.5%) of the Qualifying New Zealand Expenditure to film and television production companies provided certain requirements are satisfied. 

Also, on 16 July 2007, the Post, Digital and Visual effects (PDV) grant was introduced for those undertaking post production, digital and visual effects work as an extension of the LBSPG.

On 1 July 2008, the  Screen Production Incentive Fund (SPIF) was introduced which provides a grant of 40% (for feature films) or 20% (for television and other screen productions) of the Qualifying New Zealand Expenditure to film and television production companies provided certain requirements are satisfied. Legislative amendments are noted below.

Inland Revenue is responsible for verifying expenditure for these grants, which are administered by the Film Commission. The criteria for qualifying for the LBSPG, PDV, or SPIF grants can be viewed on the New Zealand Film Commission website.

Legislative amendments

From 1 July 2008, the New Zealand Screen Production Incentive Fund (SPIF) grant was made available for “New Zealand” film and other screen formats. The amendments were introduced in the July 2008 Tax Bill, now The Taxation (International Taxation, Life Insurance and Remedial Matters) Act 2009.

The tax amendments turn off the immediate deduction incentive provided in current law for films that attract SPIF grants.  The Act also made consequential amendments in relation to SPIF grant co-funding by government agencies.  Amendments also give Large Budget Screen Production Grants (LBSPG) standard grant treatment, which prevents the creation of artificial losses. 

The Income Tax Act 2007 is being amended as follows:

  • The definition of “Government Screen Production Payment” will be used to describe both LBSPG (including PDV) and SPIF grants.
  • Film that receives a SPIF grant will be deductible over the more usual two–year period, rather than qualify for the immediate deduction incentive. 
  • The standard grant treatment will also explicitly apply to any funding from government funding organisations that is in addition to funding received via SPIF grants. This further reduces the allowable deductible expenditure of the production by the value of the additional funding from government funding organisations. Any payments to these funding bodies will, however, be deductible.
  • The LBSPG (including PDV) will also be given the standard grant treatment. 

The Tax Administration Act 1994 will be amended so that tax auditing and secrecy obligations for the LBSPG (including PDV) also apply to SPIF grants.