6 Filming Incentives in Latin America That Will Maximize Your Budget

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Latin America is heating up as top destination for film production.  While Mexico has always served as the setting for many Hollywood blockbusters, other Latin American countries have similar appeal and attraction.  With new filming incentives, different and diverse natural scenery, from beaches to mountains and both colonial and modern buildings it’s easy to see why Latin America is on the rise.

Each country has specific requirements that need to be met to qualify for the incentive programs and many also have an annual cap on the amount of funds to be awarded under their incentive program. You can find more in-depth information about each state’s incentive program more by clicking on the links provided.

Filming Incentives in the Caribbean

Dominican Republic

25% transferable tax credit on all eligible expenditures including preproduction, production, and post-production

Puerto Rico

40% transferable tax credit of the money paid to Puerto Rican resident vendors and individuals

Trinidad & Tobago

12.5% to 35% cash rebate of qualifying local spend and up to 20% additional cash rebate to the hire of Trinidad and Tobago nationals employed as “Keys and Talent”

Filming Incentives in Mexico & Central America


Up to 7.5% cash reimbursement on qualifying local spend and a refund of VAT up to 16%


15% cash rebate

Filming Incentives in South America


40% cash rebate for film services and a 20% rebate on film logistical services: accommodations, food, and transportation costs incurred locally, and airfare (airfare must be through a Colombian travel agency)

Incentive Definitions

Film Production Rebate
A rebate (or grant) is funds paid to the production company based on the amount of qualifying expenditures, or jobs created in the state or country by the project. The production company does not need to file a tax return for rebates.

Film Refundable Tax Credits
A refundable tax credit is similar in function to a rebate, however, the production company must file a tax return to claim it, and receive a credit for taxes owed. Tax credits can sometimes be used as collateral to obtain a loan so that the production company receives an advance, which is usually discounted.

Film Transferable Tax Credits
A transferable tax credit may be sold or assigned to a local taxpayer. Some states offer transferable tax credits, which allow production companies to sell or get a refund for tax credits that they are not able to use. Many times brokers are used to perform these transactions.

Film Non-Refundable, Non-Transferable Tax Credits
This type of tax credit can be used to offset a production company’s current tax liability, and can be carried forward for a set time, but not transferred to third parties.

The information stated herein is for reference only and based on a source using data as of January 2015. Make sure you consult a qualified tax adviser and professional who is familiar with tax incentive programs to determine the best fit for your project.

Find Out More

At the Global Media Desk we have been helping productions find the highest-quality local crews in Latin America for fifteen years.  We are here to help!  Please contact us with any questions you may have about filming in the region or fill out a quote to see how we can make your production a complete success.

Photo Credit: By Chensiyuan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons