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Hawaii Lures Filmmakers With Generous Tax Breaks

The Hawaiian Islands have been hosting film shoots for over a century, and it’s easy to see why: stunning beaches, epic surf, dramatic mountains and cliffs, lush jungles, and the city of Honolulu with iconic Diamond Head in the background. But now incentives also play a major role in luring production from the mainland.

Oahu, the most populous island and home to Honolulu, offers a refundable tax credit of 20%. The other islands, also known as Neighbor Islands, provide an additional tax credit of 5%. They include Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Hawaii Island.

The minimum spend required is $200,000 and the credit cap is $15,000,000 per production.

Film buffs recall the famous love scene in 1953’s “From Here to Eternity,” where Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr kissed passionately on the beach as the surf pounded furiously – filmed on Oahu’s southeastern shore.

Since then, multiple features and television shows have shot on the islands. They include CBS’ popular “Hawaii Five-0” TV series, which began filming in Hawaii in 2010 and is still going strong; and the original “Hawaii Five-O” series, with Jack Lord, also on CBS, which aired for 12 seasons from 1968 to 1980.

Recent features that shot in Hawaii include “Snatched” (2017), “Kong: Skull Island” (2017), “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” (2017), “Snowden” (2016) and “Jurassic World” (2015).

Incenitves
20% Refundable tax credit on Oahu
5% Added credit on Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii
$200k Minimum spend
Information courtesy of EP Financial Solutions, a production incentive consulting and financial services company.

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