Hungary filming incentives
Hungary has raised its production tax incentive from 25% to 30%
Films (for cinema and television) produced in Hungary are eligible for a 30% rebate based on their expenditure (all the direct film production costs) spent in the country. The scheme is part of the film support program approved by the European Commission.
The incentive is available through local business companies that receive tax relief after their support of films. The Hungarian State guarantees support through the Collection Account managed by the NFI.
The financial support is provided through a cash refund (post-financing). The 30% incentive is extendable to 37.5% of the eligible production expense by adding 7.5% non-Hungarian costs. (The non-Hungarian eligible spend is capped at 25% of the rebate.)
About filming in Hungary
The country has hosted numerous major international productions in recent years, including Disney’s Black Widow, Fox’s Red Sparrow, Lionsgate’s Robin Hood, Sony’s Blade Runner 2049 and Will Smith's thriller Gemini Man directed by Ang Lee. Independent films include Wash Westmoreland’s Colette, starring Keira Knightley.
Budapest is the most popular location to shoot films in Europe. Film production spending reached $670m in Hungary in 2022.
Former Hungarian film commissioner Andy Vajna said: “In addition to the tax incentive, Hungary’s film industry has highly educated and experienced film crews, a variety of exciting and new film locations and state-of-the-art sound stages.”
"Budapest has recently become Europe’s biggest film production base after London, with top producers shooting with the world’s biggest stars." Csaba Kael, Chairman of the National Film Institute
What productions can benefit?
- Films of all genres made for cinema release
- Feature films, series, documentaries and animations made for television or other distribution platforms
- Porn and extremely violent films, commercials, reality shows, news, sports coverage, talk-
shows, talent shows and daily soap operas and scripted realities are excluded
- Films applying for the incentive have to be submitted to a cultural test
- Films must contain European content or cultural values, and additional points are granted if EU nationals are either making or financing the movie (point system)
- 15 points have to be earned to pass
Registration of company and production
- Abroad Films, as a registered with the National Film Office (NFO), is eligible to apply
- Foreign companies have to conclude coproduction or service agreements with a Hungarian-registered company like Abroad Films
- Production has to be registered at NFO
- The start of filming has to be reported to NFO
- All the direct film production costs are eligible except those excluded by the film law; other costs are limited by the law (see below)
- The producer is free to spend 20% of the budget outside Hungary without suffering a reduction in the amount of the incentive. This means that not only the spending made to Hungarian taxpayers will qualify, but also some of the services provided by foreign taxpayers - up to 20% of the total production budget (consequently 37,5% of the Hungarian spend will be refunded)
Excluded or limited costs
- Part of the copyright costs over 4% of the budget
- Travel costs are limited to trips from and to Hungary; stopovers are possible
- P&A is limited to up to 2% of the budget (but max 10m HUF)
- The cost of services delivered by non-Hungarian sub-contractors is limited to up to 25% of eligible Hungarian spend
- Producersʼ fee (line, co-, executive and other producers) maximum up to 4%
- Costs of completion bonds are limited to up to 5% of the budget (but max 100m HUF)
- Remunerations of cast and crew members up to 3 million HUF per person and per film production will be eligible at 100% for the tax rebate, and the eligibility of all remunerations exceeding this limit will be capped at 50%. (these limitations do not apply to Hungarian self-employed or loan-out cast and crew members whose remuneration is subject to different tax liability than personal income tax)
- Expenses where the date of the certificate of completion falls out of the production period, or it is issued later than three months from the end date are excluded
- Any expenses settled by compensation (products or services) have to be excluded
- Any costs related to a film produced about an event are limited to the expenses incurred regarding the production, not the event. If costs cannot be separated, all expenses should be excluded
Production tax incentive
Most popular location in Europe
Film production spending in 2022
of country’s GDP is film production