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Poland's 30% cash rebate is now in effect


- The Polish 30% cash-rebate scheme, announced last year, is now in effect; it operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and the PFI is now accepting applications

Poland's 30% cash rebate is now in effect

First announced last summer, the 30% cash rebate for international productions shooting in Poland was made official in December when the country's president, Andrzej Duda, signed the bill previously approved by the Polish Parliament.

The scheme is managed by the Polish Film Institute (PFI) and offers a reimbursement of production costs incurred in Poland to the tune of 30% of eligible Polish expenditures. The funds come directly from the state budget and are distributed throughout the year on a first-come, first-served basis. At least 10% of the budget is intended for animation projects.

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Reimbursement is available for feature films, animations, documentaries and series (fiction, animated and documentary), for the production of Polish and international co-productions, and for services provided for foreign productions. International projects are required to work with a local partner, be it a co-producer, the Polish branch of an international company, or a service provider.

To be eligible for the scheme, the applicant needs to pass the qualification test and meet the minimum spending thresholds. For feature films, the threshold has been set at €600,000 (PLN 2.5 million) for those applying in 2019, with an increase to €715,000 (PLN 3 million) in 2020 and €950,000 (PLN 4 million) from 2021. For animated features, the minimum spend is €240,000 (PLN 1 million), and for documentaries it is €70,000 (PLN 300,000). The producers of series need to be prepared to spend at least €240,000 (PLN 1 million) per episode in the case of fictional live-action series, or the same amount per season if they are making documentary or animated series.

There is a cap per project of €3.33 million (PLN 15 million), and a cap per applicant per calendar year of €4.76 million (PLN 20 million). The reimbursement is payable after the presentation and positive verification of the final report on production or on the stage of work covered by the support.

Applications are to be submitted in Polish and can be made at the earliest six months before, and at the latest two months before, the start of the part of production to which the application relates. The Polish Film Institute takes up to 28 calendar days to assess the application.

When applying, producers are required to document their means of financing at least 75% of the costs of the work to be supported as well as 75% of the total production budget. Only costs incurred during the period of work covered by the support declared in the schedule are eligible for settlement.

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