Cash Rebate

Through the Tourism and Cinema Support Fund, Portugal has created one of the most competitive financial incentive systems in Europe – the Film Shooting and Production Incentive, also known as Cash Rebate.

Applications for the first phase of the Scouting Programme close on May 31,2024 at 11:59pm (GMT+1)

The Film Shooting and Production Incentive

Applies to Cinema, Audiovisual and VOD Productions: Domestic, foreign (executive/services) and/or official and de facto co-productions;

Minimum expenditure in Portugal: €500,000.00 for fiction or animation projects | €200,000.00 for documentary or post-production projects;

Support rate of 25%, which may be increased to 30%, on the eligible expenditure. The percentage is determined by a “Cultural Test”, which is attached as an annex to Ordinance 124-A/2024/1 of 28 March, focusing on the characteristics of the project;

Advance payments in instalments;

Two application phases per year;

Support of up to €1,500,000;

2024 financing: up to €14,000,000;

Mention of the Cash Rebate in the work’s credits is required.

Who can apply

Companies with the following corporate purpose may apply for the Cash Rebate:

  • The production of films intended for screening in cinemas or broadcast by television or distributed via on-demand audiovisual media services or other audiovisual media services;
  • The provision of technical services relating to cinema and audiovisual production, including the rental of equipment, post-production technical activities, activities relating to film production laboratories, activities relating to special laboratories for animated films and audio post-production activities.

Cumulatively, companies wishing to apply for the incentive should be entered in the Register of Cinematographic and Audiovisual Entities.

This register ensures mobility of registration for European companies that are non-resident in Portugal and do not have a branch in Portugal (entities with a registered office in the EU/EEA). Before the date on which the eligible expenditure is incurred, the applicant must establish a company or branch subject to tax in Portugal (special-purpose vehicles are eligible for this purpose).

For questions regarding the Register of Cinematographic and Audiovisual Entities, please contact us by email registo@ica-ip.pt

Eligible Expenditure

All production expenditure, submitted by persons or companies, relating to personnel and acquisition of goods and services carried out and taxed in Portugal is considered eligible according to the following considerations:

  1. The eligibility of expenditure is determined by its nature, reasonableness, relationship to the project and suitability according to the applicable legislation.
  2. Eligible expenditure is expenditure actually paid, supported by fiscally valid original invoices and receipts, or equivalent payment documents, issued in the name of the beneficiary entity, relating to the project’s implementation period.
  3. Eligible project expenditure corresponds to expenditure incurred after the submission date of the application for admission to the Incentive benefit.
  4. Exception: Development expenditure, up to 12 months before the application date.
  5. VAT must be deducted whenever the beneficiary entity is a taxable person subject to that tax and can exercise its right to the respective deduction.
  6. Production expenditure relating to production activities carried out in Portugal but contracted with service providers established in other EU or EEA states, up to a limit of 20% of the eligible expenditure in Portugal, is also considered eligible.

Additional specifications regarding eligible expenditure can be found in the Regulation on ICA Eligible Expenditure and Provision of Accounts.

Support limits

Accumulation of public support: up to 80%, pursuant to paragraph 5 of Decree-Law 74/2021 of 25 August

Production expenditure relating to production activities carried out in Portugal but contracted with service providers established in other EU or EEA states, up to a limit of 20% of the eligible expenditure in Portugal, is considered eligible.

The Cash Rebate cannot be combined, for the same production, with the Cash Refund.

“Above the line” expenditureProduction activitieswhich do not include filmingOther productions
  • Producers and producing companies, including executive producers
  • Directors
  • Screenwriters, authors of adaptations and authors of dialogues
  • Other authors, such as authors of preexisting works and musical composers
  • Main actors
Limit by item: 5%Overall limit: 20%Limit by item: 10%Overall limit: 35%

Aid application registration and application

The application must be made before the start of production or post-production work.

For entities that need to start the investment project before the start of the next application phase, aid application registration is available:

The documents required to register the aid request must be sent to picportugal@ica-ip.pt.

Applications are submitted through the HAL platform

The user manual for the HAL platform can be found here.

Required Documentation

    1. Administrative documents:
      • Sworn statement;
      • Copyright assignment agreements or permissions from copyright holders (not applicable for foreign productions);
      • Contract with the director or directors (not applicable for foreign productions);
      • Co-production contract or contracts, where applicable;
      • Contract between the foreign producer and the local executive producer, in the case of a foreign production;
      • Budget and forecast breakdown of expenditure by producer, by territory and by item;
      • Identification, including the nationality, tax residence and amount foreseen for fees or payments receivable, of authors, producers, actors, technicians and all professionals and companies to be hired in Portugal and whose participation has an impact on the project’s score in the cultural test;
      • Project financing plan;
      • Contracts or decisions confirming the financing obtained and envisaged;
      • Distribution or broadcasting plan and respective contracts entered into, if any.
    2. Documents relating to the content of the project:
      • Script;
      • Treatment, in the case of documentaries;
      • Letters of intent or explanations from the director and/or producer;
      • Additional technical or artistic explanations relevant to the assessment of the project, if necessary

    The documents referred to above must be sent in the original Portuguese version or, in the case of a project in a foreign language, in one of the following languages: English, French or Spanish.

Order of applications and tiebreaker criteria

The incentive is assigned according to the order of total score obtained by each project in the analysis and ranking table.

In the event of equal ranking, eligible projects are ordered according to the following priority criteria, which are applied up to a tiebreaker in the order indicated below:

  1. The highest score in criterion A1.1 of Part A;
  2. The highest total score in Part C;
  3. The highest score in criterion A2.7 of Part A;
  4. The highest score in criterion A2.6 of Part A;
  5. The highest score in criterion A2.2 of Part A;
  6. The highest score resulting from the sum of the scores obtained in criteria A2.4 and A2.5 of Part A;
  7. The highest total score obtained for Part B;
  8. The order of arrival of applications for admission to the Incentive benefit, and for this purpose ICA, I.P. must have the appropriate means to determine the order of arrival.

Rate and reimbursement amounts

The general rate applicable to expenditure eligible for the calculation of the incentive amount is 25%.

However, the effective rate applicable to eligible expenditure may be higher than the general rate, under the following terms:

  1. Add to the general rate 1% for every 2 points obtained in the sum of criteria A1.1, A1.7, sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of point I of criterion A2.2, A2.4, A2.5, A2.6 and A2.7;
  2. The effective rate applicable to eligible expenditure may not exceed 30%.

Note: Notwithstanding the foregoing, eligible expenditure incurred in low-density territories and Autonomous Regions (see Annex III), and eligible expenditure relating to remuneration and charges, in particular daily allowances, social security contributions and insurance, for disabled members of the artistic and technical team, is subject to a rate of 40%.

Eligibility requirements and cultural assessment table

Minimum eligible production expenditure

PROJECT

TYPE

MIN. ELIGIBLE EXPENDITURE

Cinematographic worksFeature Film:
Fiction
Animation
Documentary

500.000 €
500.000 €
200.000 €
Audiovisual works for television productionTelevision films
Standalone television documentaries
TV animated specials
TV series
500.000 €
200.000 €
500.000 €
500.000 €
Works for viewing via on-demand services (standalone or series)Fiction
Animation
Documentary
500.000 €
500.000 €
200.000 €
Post-productionAll types indicated above200.000 €

Cultural assessment table

In order to be eligible, the project must achieve the following minimum scores:

Criterion

Post-productionExecutive productionOther productions

A

A1 + A2 ≥ 8A1 + A2 ≥ 10A1 + A2 ≥ 17

B

  B + C ≥ 15, of this C2 ≥ 2

C

A + B+ C

25

32

40

The cultural assessment table can be obtained here.

For works where at least 50% of shooting time takes place in low-density territories and Autonomous Regions, the score obtained in the analysis and ranking table annexed to this Regulation is increased by 20%, rounded up to the limit of the table’s maximum score.

Distribution

Only works projects which are certain of being distributed internationally, such as being screened in cinemas and/or broadcast on television services or via on-demand audiovisual media services catalogues, may be accepted under the following terms:

  • Three or more territories for international distribution, including at least one territory in which Portuguese is not the official or national language;
  • Less than three territories for international distribution, provided that their total population is equal to or greater than 45 million inhabitants, including at least one territory in which Portuguese is not an official or national language.
  •  

Confirmed financing

On the date of submission of the application for provisional admission to the incentive benefit, the applicant must be proven to have confirmed financing covering at least 55% of the eligible expenditure forecast.

Contract

After notification of the allocation of support, the contract for granting the Incentive between Turismo de Portugal, I.P., ICA, I.P. and the beneficiary is entered into within 20 working days, and said contract contains, in particular, the rights and obligations of each of the parties.

Payments

The Incentive is paid in four instalments:

  1. Signature of the contract (20% of the incentive amount);
  2. Start of shooting, start of main animation or start of post-production work in Portugal (30% of the incentive amount);
  3. End of shooting or submission of animation/post-production work report (30% of incentive amount);
  4. Final calculation (20% of the incentive amount).

Required documents

2nd instalment3rd instalment
Declaration of start of shooting/start of post-production/animation work.Declaration of end of shooting/ Post-production/animation work progress report.

Expenditure justification documents list, the template can be obtained here.

Certified accountant’s statement, template here.

Revision

This is required whenever significant modifications to the project occur:

  1. Changes to the co-production structure or the contractual relationship with the local executive producer;
  2. Changes in the identity, nationality or tax residence or tax domicile and the nature or quantity of participation in the project of all authors, actors and technicians or any personnel taken into account in the assessment and ranking of the project according to the cultural test;
  3. Changes to the script or to production options or vicissitudes thereof, in particular with regard to filming and post-production locations and the respective durations and dates, or any other factors having an impact on the assessment and scoring of the project characteristics according to the cultural test;
  4. Budgetary variations of more than 10% of the project budget and any reductions in the forecast of eligible expenditure which could jeopardise the eligibility of the project.

Final calculation

National Productions/Co-productions

  • Justification documents list, template here;
  • Statutory auditor’s declaration (guidelines for auditors and report template);
  • Media for the final version of the work, suitable for the purposes of projection, broadcasting, museographic exhibition and preservation of the works, including those intended for Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema, I.P., with the technical specifications and forms stipulated in Regulation 630/2018, of 3 October;
  • Trailer for use in the promotion and dissemination of the work by ICA, I.P.;
  • Synopsis of the work and episodes, where applicable, for promotional purposes (maximum 500 characters);
  • Script, if applicable;
  • List of film dialogues, if applicable;
  • Contract with the author, where there is original music;
  • Statement by the producer that he/she has acquired the necessary rights for the exhibition and dissemination of the work, in particular those relating to the use of music and images;
  • Music cue sheet, if applicable;
  • Registration of the cinematographic or audiovisual work at the ICA;
  • Photographs for dissemination and promotion of the work;
  • Film poster in a digital file, if applicable;
  • Press kit, if applicable;
  • Distribution/broadcast demonstration.

Executive productions

  • Justification documents list, template here;
  • Statutory auditor’s declaration (guidelines for auditors and report template);
  • Trailer for use in the promotion and dissemination of the work by ICA, I.P.;
  • Synopsis of the work and episodes, where applicable, for promotional purposes (maximum 500 characters);
  • Film poster in a digital file, if applicable;
  • Distribution/broadcast demonstration.

Deadlines: the request for final calculation must be made no later than 24 months from the date of provisional admission to the Incentive benefit, or 36 months in the case of animation works, and these periods may be extended up to 36 months or 48 months respectively, upon a reasoned request by the applicant.

Cash Rebate mention

Incentive mention rules can be obtained here;

Contacts

For further information or clarification of any questions, you may contact us by email picportugal@ica-ip.pt