On June 21, 2022, Thailand’s cabinet updated and approved in principle a five-year personal income tax exemption for foreign filmmaking companies and actors working on motion pictures in Thailand.
The tax measure, which is intended to promote the use of Thailand as a filming location, is similar to a 2012 law that authorized a temporary personal income tax exemption for nonresidents shooting movies for foreign filmmaking companies.
Normally, nonresident artists are subject to tax on income from filmmaking in Thailand. These artists have to declare their income and submit personal tax returns to the local tax authorities for both midyear and annual tax submission deadlines. Depending on the amount of income (including remuneration, per diem, travel expense allowance, etc.), personal income tax rates can be up to 35%. With the exemption, however, nonresident actors will in effect be able to bypass these taxation requirements.
This incentive will not grant a tax exemption to foreign directors, producers, film crews, or other filmmaking staff. However, based on current Thai Revenue Department guidelines, a filmmaking company will have no tax liability in Thailand if no income is earned during the filmmaking itself.
The incentive scheme is expected to pass into law soon after the cabinet’s approval. While this incentive provides strong incentives for foreign companies to film in Thailand, a number of other considerations will remain—for instance, customs duty liability on equipment temporarily brought into Thailand, personal income tax implications, and film crew members’ compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
For further information, please contact:
Auaychai Sukawong, Partner, Tilleke & Gibbins