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August 7th, 2002
European Financing Tightens for Movie and TV Producers
2002 saw the tightening in Europe of rules and regulations governing tax advantaged or structured financing opportunities which had previously existed for US movie and television producers.
United Kingdom restricts sale/leaseback. In the UK, sale/leaseback opportunities are no longer available for television productions; sale/leaseback is only available for feature films. Defining a "feature film", of course, still leaves some room for creativity. Showtime and HBO have occasionally financed films, which have been given a theatrical release, either before or after airing on their channels. If a picture such as "The Last Seduction" starring Linda Fiorentino is shot in the UK and given such a release, can it qualify under the new UK restrictions? Stay tuned.
Germans make it harder to achieve "producer" status. The German government tightened the definition of "producer." To qualify as a producer, a German company now has to be involved with a project preferably before the start of principal photography and certainly by no later than half way through principal photography. Also, at least 80% of production cost now must be spent or firmly committed to be spent by the end of the fiscal year in which the investment is made. Projections are also required in order to demonstrate a reasonable expectation that an investment will be profitable for the investors. These requirements make it much more difficult for US production companies to access financing in Germany, although there are still opportunities for creative financing structures.
Other Entertainment Law Alerts
New Federal Budget Revives Section 181
Among the provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 passed by Congress and signed by the President on February 9 is a retroactive extension of Internal Revenue Code Section 181. Read more.
February 15 2018
Section 181 Revived
The new tax law, commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act"), contains some good news for producers of motion pictures, television programs and live theatrical shows (each a "Production") and their investors. Read more.
January 11 2018
Video Game Association Challenges Chicago’s Online Streaming Services Tax
One of the nation's most prominent video game associations has decided to challenge Chicago's controversial "Cloud Tax." Read more.
June 16 2017