The Producer Offset

The Producer Offset provides a refundable tax offset (rebate) for producers of Australian feature films, television and other projects on Qualifying Australian Production Expenditure (QAPE).

The Producer Offset is administered by Screen Australia. Please consult the Screen Australia Producer Offset Guidelines to assist applicants for provisional certificates and final certificates for the Producer Offset.

The Producer Offset provides a rebate on QAPE as follows:

– up to 40% for theatrically released feature films, documentary, animation and IMAX

– up to 20% for single episode dramas and documentary (including features released only on DVD or on-line), television drama or documentary series/seasons and short form animation

Minimum levels of QAPE required for different formats


Format

Minimum total QAPE
Minimum QAPE per hour
(i.e. QAPE / Duration in hours)
Feature film A$500,000 N/A
Single-episode drama A$500,000 N/A
Series/Season of a series drama A$1 million A$500,000
Documentary (single-episode or series) A$500,000 A$250,000
(e.g. 1.5 hour series totals A$750,000)
Short-form animation A$250,000 A$1 million

Producer Offset QAPE generally covers the production expenditure for the film or television program in relation to:

  • Goods and services provided in Australia
  • The use of land in Australia
  • The use of goods in Australia at the time they are used in making the film
  • Where the subject matter of a film reasonably requires the foreign location, expenditure in a foreign country on goods and services supplied by, or for Australian residents, only during principal photography, may be claimed as QAPE.

DISCLAIMER
We recommend you seek independent, professional legal, financial and accounting advice if you are intending to apply for any of the Australian Screen Production Incentives. Contact Ausfilm production & legal services members who provide this service.

Contact:

Screen Australia
Producer Offset and Co-production Unit
+61 2 8113 5800
pocu@screenaustralia.gov.au
www.screenaustralia.gov.au

Or

Ausfilm USA
Michelle Sandoval
Client Liason Executive
+ 1 310229 2361
Michelle.Sandoval@ausfilm.com

Ausfilm Sydney
Nick Herd
Head of Policy & Research – Ausfilm
+ 61 2 9383 4556
Nick.Herd@ausfilm.com.au

What's Eligible

To be eligible for the Producer Offset the production must:
– demonstrate Significant Australian Content (SAC) Official co-production
– meet minimum expenditure thresholds relevant to the type of production
– meet requirements for commercial broadcast/exhibition/distribution
– meet minimum format lengths (eg. 60 minutes for a feature film, one commercial hour for single episode non-documentary, one commercial half hour for a single documentary, one quarter hour for animation, 45 minutes for IMAX, at least two episodes for a series or season)

Minimum Format Lengths

60 minutes for a feature film
45 minutes for IMAX
1 commercial hour for single episode non-documentary
1 quarter hour for animation
At least two episodes for a television series or season

Applicants for an offset must be an Australian company, or a non-resident company with a permanent establishment in Australia and an Australian Business Number (ABN). The applicant company must have either carried out, or made the arrangements for the carrying out of all the activities necessary for making the production

Facts

What is the SAC test?

To qualify for the Producer Offset, a project must satisfy the Significant Australian Content (SAC) test administered by Screen Australia.

In determining SAC, Screen Australia has regard to:

-The subject matter of the film
-The place where the film is made
-The nationalities and residences of the persons who take part in the making of the film (including producers, directors, writers, actors, composers, editors etc.)
-The details of production expenditure incurred in respect of the film; and
-Any other matters that Screen Australia deems relevant.
-The above should not be considered formal criteria as each production is considered on a case by case basis and is a matter of judgment for Screen Australia. It is important to have as many Australian elements as possible including, but not limited to, story, cultural relevance, location, origination, development and source material.

For more information on the SAC test please visit Screen Australia or contact the Producer Offset and Co-production Unit at Screen Australia on +61 2 8113 5800.

BENEFITS
– There is no cap or sunset clause on the incentives
– The incentives are a cash rebate paid to the producer
– The incentives can be combined with state and territory government incentives
– Screen Australia will audit and provide a Final Certificate
– Payment is usually made in 4 weeks from lodgement of the Final Certificate with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

PLEASE NOTE
– A producer may access only one of the Australian Government incentives for each eligible project
– Immigration regulations apply to importing cast and crew