Lights, Camera, Action! A Guide to Film & TV production in Thailand

Thailand’s got a sweet deal for film and TV production. The country offers a 15% rebate to international productions and some extra bonuses too. Hire Thai key personnel and get an extra 3%. Promote Thai tourism and get another 3%. Do post-production in Thailand and get 2%. Show off some Thai culture and get 5%. And if you’re spending over 100 million Baht before the end of 2023, you get another 5%. With all these benefits, Thailand is a no-brainer for film and TV production.

Here’s a quick guide on how to make the most of the Thailand Film Incentive.

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How to Qualify for Thailand Film Incentive

The Thailand Film Incentive is available to all international film and TV productions shooting in Thailand. All you need to do is spend a minimum of 50m Thai Baht in the country. The incentive is capped at $2.17m USD, but that’s still a pretty sweet deal. And no, unfortunately TV commercials aren’t eligible. If you are planning to shoot a TV series, the cap applies to the run of the show and not per episode. To qualify as a foreign production filming in Thailand, the production’s chain of title must belong to a foreign entity. Co-productions with a Thai company are cool as long as the other party is a foreign entity.

Getting approval is easy peasy, just like with most administrative processes in Thailand. To get started with the tax incentives and rebates, you’ll work with a local film board coordinator. They’ll take care of coordinating with the Thai government before, during, and after production. It usually takes about 6 months to a year to get everything sorted, and the local coordinator company will make sure everything is on track.

Plan Ahead

Thailand’s Film Incentive is a lottery-based system, so it’s important to plan ahead if you want to score some extra cash. Make sure you meet the criteria and get your application in on time. And here’s a heads up – you’ve got to submit your application with your film permit. Without a film permit, you can’t get the incentive. Don’t wait until your film is finished to start thinking about the incentive, that’s a big no-no. Get your ducks in a row from the get-go.

Hire a Tax Incentive Team

Listen to us and get a team of pros who know the ins and outs of the Thailand Film Incentive. You don’t want to go it alone, trust us. Only a select few production accountants are qualified to handle the process, and it’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll be dealing with a ton of paperwork and audits. Make sure you set aside 4-6 weeks for the audit work and budget an extra 3-5% to cover the costs. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Let’s recap:

– Invest 50 million Baht in Thailand
– Make sure the ownership rights belong to a non-Thai entity
– Plan ahead and be proactive
– Get a team of experts to guide you
– Factor in a bit extra for costs

And that’s the gist of the Thailand Film Incentive! If you’d like to know more, get in touch to find out how Greenlight Films can help you.