×

Spain Supercharges Incentives for Big Foreign TV Series

Vampire Academy
Courtesy of Weinstein Company

In a bold move, Spain’s Congress has raised the cap on tax rebates enjoyed by international TV productions to €10 million ($10.6 million) per episode. 

Parallel to that, the total tax relief for international movie productions shooting in Spain has been hiked from €10 million to €20 million ($21.2 million). A ceiling for deductions enjoyed by a title’s top creatives, previously set at €100,000 ($106,000), has also been eliminated.

Set to come into force in 2023 once cleared why the European Union, the new rulings, included in Spain’s corporate tax regulation, mark a bold play to attract some of the biggest TV shoots on earth and encourage them to stay longer in Spain. 

The country is home to one of the biggest historical heritage offers in Europe and boasts spectacular landscapes, both of which have been exploited by a strong line in big fantasy titles from “Game of Thrones,” which shot in Spain over 2014-18, to “The Witcher,” Seasons 1 and 2 (2019-21), “Vampire Academy,” which lensed this year in Navarre, and “House of the Dragon,” which filmed  in Spain in Cáceres, Granada and Girona.

The challenge for Spain has been to encourage shoots to remain. Answers have cut several ways. Closed for contravening E.U. competition laws, Spain’s Ciudad de La Luz, its biggest studio complex, reopened last summer. 

Individual regions offer their own incentives. As Spain hikes its incentives, the Canary Islands will most probably raise its own, already representing standout tax relief traditionally some 20 percentage points above mainland Spain when it comes to deductions and with caps near doubling the peninsula. Spain’s Bizkaia moved waves this year announcing a 70% incentive for films and series shooting in the Basque Country province.  

The new ceilings also represent the second energetic rise in rebate caps since 2020 when Spain’s government increased quota limits from €3 million ($3.2 million) at the height of its COVID-19 pandemic. As a part result, as well as thanks to an easing in big shoot restrictions, foreign productions spent €263 million ($279 million) in Spain in 2021, double the 2016-19 annual average, according to a ProFilm study. 

With the new caps, “Spain is positioned as the most competitive and attractive destination in Europe for audiovisual production,” said Spain Film Commission President Carlos Rosado. “The new tax measures offer total legal security and guarantee our institutions’ commitment to the shoot industry as a strategic sector.” 

“Spain is now the best bet for international productions,” he added. “The now approved incentives join a complete map of locations, top-rate professionals, global connectivity and a network of 38 film commissions and offices functioning throughout the whole of Spain to answer shoots’ necessities.”

“The measures will no doubt serve to attract bigger-budget productions to our country,” added Fernando Victoria de Lecea, president of Spain’s Profilm line producer body.