Tax exemption for foreign actors approved

Mae Chaem rice terrace in the northern province of Chiang Mai is one of the popular shooting locations recommended by the Thailand Film Office.

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a tax exemption for foreign actors of movies filmed in Thailand for a period of five years as an incentive for international producers to shoot their films in the kingdom, deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek said.

The measure is also aimed at promoting the country’s “soft power”, which is in line with the government’s policy, Ms Rachada said.

Revenue from foreign film productions shot in Thailand has continued to increase, with the average annual revenue of 3.5 billion baht from 2017-2021, and the country reported almost 400 million baht in revenue last year, she added.

Thailand has had a measure to promote foreign film shooting in the form of cash rebate at the rate of 15-20% of the expenses incurred in the country – with the ceiling being fixed at 75 million baht.

However, foreign actors are required to pay their personal income tax in Thailand and in their own countries. This may be a factor for filmmakers to decide whether they what to shoot their films in Thailand, she said.

“With the new incentive in effect, during the next five years Thailand’s revenue from foreign film shooting is expected to be about 3.5 billion baht a year, or 17.5 billion baht in total,” Ms Rachada said. “The country would lose about 71.75 million baht from tax exemption.”

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