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FAQs

  1. What are the admitted expenses?

-Expenses related to the development and preproduction

-Expenses of construction and stage operations, purchase or rent of costumes, accessories, food, office supplies, transportation, equipment and related services.

-Expenses related to executive production.

-Payroll

-Photography, sound synchronization, lighting and related expenses.

-Edition, graphics, visual effects, animation, music, and other related postproduction expenses.

-Expenses related to film processing, and format change.

-The rent of filming locations and related expenses.

-The rent of vehicles.

-The expenses related to catering and lodging for the cast and crew.

-Flights from and to the Dominican Republic, also domestic flights as long as they are purchased trough an agency or airline, which is established in Dominican territory.

-Insurance guarantees and bonds as long as they are contracted with companies registered in the Dominican Territory.

-Equipment and supplies freight costs from and to the Dominican Republic.

-Honorary fees of the accountant and legal teams that work with the production.

-Cast and Crew honorary fees.

-Other costs directly linked to production that are widely accepted within the film industry.

  1. What are the excluded expenses?
  • The honorary fee of the producer cannot exceed 6% of the total budget.
  • The expenses made during the development stage cannot exceed 3% of the total budget.
  • Expenses related to the marketing and distribution of the film.
  1. Do the “development” expenditures below qualify for the incentive and if so must they be paid to a Dominican vendor?

-Story Rights: YES. 

-Script Clearance Fees: YES. 

-WGA Publication Fee: YES. 

-Legal Fees associated with Story Rights: YES. 

  1. Must the producer contracts specifically reference payments related to work incurred in the Dominican Republic?  

Yes.

  1. Are the services of a Unit Publicist considered a Marketing cost and thus does not qualify for the incentive?  If so, do all costs associated with the Unit Publicist also do not qualify (hotel, airfare, car rental)?

Yes, those costs are marketing costs and they do not qualify for the incentive, as all the associated costs.

  1. Is an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) considered a Marketing cost and thus does not qualify for the incentive?  (EPK, short for electronic press kit, is a pre-packaged set of promotional materials of a person, company, or organization distributed to members of the media for promotional use)

Yes, those costs are marketing costs and they do not qualify for the incentive, as all the associated costs.

  1. Do all the producers/executive producers need to physically render services (i.e., boots on the ground) in the Dominican Republic in order for their fees to qualify for the incentive? 

Yes, they need to be physically in the DR. but not all the time.

  1. If the payment schedule for the producers requires revision to qualify for the incentive, can it be addressed in the Payment Agency Agreement only or must it be addressed on their Long-Form Agreements?

We only need to see the agreement (sometimes referred as deal memos) between the producer and the local production company that will issue the payments. 

  1. If “boots on the ground” is required of the producers, will the qualified portion be pro-rated to time spent in the DR or does their whole fee count?

No, the payment could cover the full fee, as long as it does not exceed the 6% oh the production fee.

  1. Do the following Cast Perks Qualify for the incentive or are they considered indirect production expenditures?
  • Personal Chef to Cast Member (wages, per diem, Travel, Hotel) 
  • Assistant to Personal Chef of Cast Member (wages, per diem, Travel, Hotel) 
  • Personal Trainer to Cast Member (wages, per diem, Travel, Hotel) Only if the training is needed for the production. 
  • Gym Membership for Cast Member 
  1. Does companion airfare, per diem, and hotel qualify for the DR Incentive?  (examples: spouses of cast/crew) Only the cast/crew airfare qualify

No. Only the cast/crew expenses are admitted.

  1. In order for shipping to qualify (with either origin or destination being Dominican Republic), must the shipping company be a Dominican Republic vendor? 

Yes. 

  1. Would you please confirm if the COVID related items below will qualify for the NM Film Incentive?

-COVID Protective Equipment (masks, protective barriers, gloves, etc.)

-COVID Health and Safety Staffing

-COVID testing (if yes, must testing be completed in a Dominican Republic testing facility?)

-Workers Compensation Insurance related to COVID

 Yes, but the seller must be a dominican company. And yes, the COVID testing must be done in the DR. 

  1. Is the Line Producer, Executive Producer(s), and the Production Service Company Fees subject to the 6% producer Fee cap?

Only the producers and executive producers are subject to the 6% cap. The Line Producer and the production service company qualify at 100% with no cap. 

  1. When calculating the 6% producer fee cap, should we include all the producers fees as part of the “total budget for the production of the work”?  

Only the budget to be executed in DR.

  1. Do production finance fees qualify for the incentive if paid to one of the non-resident producers?

 No, the finance fees are excluded.

  1. Example:  A foreign cast/crew person will be receiving an additional $100/week as a meal allowance while they are working in the Dominican Republic.

 Yes.

  1. Example:  A foreign cast/crew person brings their own personal cell phone with them to the Dominican Republic.  Production pays the foreign cast/crew person an additional $100/week as a cell phone allowance. This is all paid thru payroll.

Yes, but only if this payment is made thru payroll. 

  1. Example: A foreign crew person brings their own personal equipment to the Dominican Republic that they will be renting out to the production.  This “box/kit rental” will be paid by the production thru payroll.  

Yes, but only if this payment is made thru payroll.  

All the rentals are subject to a 27% withholding rate, because the 1.5% treatment is only for fees, but in the case of the questions 2 and 3, if those payments are made thru the payrolls, the 1.5% treatment is available. 

  1. We’d like to purchase the house in which to main shooting of the show will take place in.  Will the purchase of the house be counted towards our incentive “spend”? 

Unfortunately, it will not be a qualified spend unless you rent the house. Our film law does not contemplate the buying of these kinds of actives.

  1. Is there a fund for direct investment in movie productions?

There is no specific fund. Thanks to the growth of our industry, we have a lot of Dominican taxpayer companies that buy these transferable tax credit certificates.

  1. How can I do a coproduction with the Dominican Republic?

You can sign a coproduction agreement with a Dominican production house, for a specific project or projects. It is important to indicate the requirements for coproductions, stablished in our film law:

  1. That the majority-spoken language is Spanish.
  2. Minimum duration of seventy (70) minutes for movie theaters and other windows.
  3. The Dominican capital invested cannot be less than twenty percent (20%) of its budget.
  4. At least one Dominican producer participates in the project.
  5. The project includes a minimum artistic participation of Dominicans, like this:
  6. a) The director
  7. b) One (1) main actor/character or
  8. c) One (1) secondary actor and at least two (2) of the following crewmembers: director of photography, production designer, artistic or art director, author or authors of the screenplay or script; author or authors of the music; cartoonist if it is an animated film; editor and sound designer. The participation of actors will not be required if the genre type of the project does not require it.
  9. A minimum participation of Dominican crew members, of at least four (4) of the following positions: sound designer, camera operator, camera assistant, gaffer, script, sound mixer, makeup artist, costume designer and the head of the casting department.

In these cases, what’s mostly done it’s that each country covers the funds spent in their own territory or of the local cast / crew.

  1. What documentation is required for the Shooting Permit?

Documents required:

  • SP Form: Signed by the producer or legal representative.
  • ID card or Passport of the person signing the SP Form
  • Registration Certificate of the producer provided by the Film Commission
  • Insurance: Third Party Liability Policy
  • Script
  • Copyrights documents: Script, Music/ Original Score.
  • Shooting Schedule
  • Locations
  • Budget to be executed in the Dominican Republic in DOP.
  1. How long does it take to issue?

The SP application process takes less than 10 days to be issued.

  1. What are the visa requirements for our Presenter and crew? What is the process, and how long does it take for them to be issued?

Nationals of the following countries and passport issuing jurisdictions do not require a visa when travelling as tourists but need a tourist card obtainable at the airport upon arrival. It is valid for 30 days and can be extended twice: European Union All European Union / EFTA citizens, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina (no tourist card), Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile (no tourist card), Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador (no tourist card), El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel (no tourist card), Jamaica, Japan (no tourist card), Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia Micronesia, Monaco, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru (no tourist card), Qatar, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea (no tourist card), Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay (no tourist card), Vanuatu,  Vatican City, Venezuela.

  1. We are wondering how many other productions will be filming in DR though-out November? 

Every year in November we have around 6 or 7 productions shooting in our country simultaneously, all of them resulting in very successful shootings.

  1. What is your major airport that we would travel out of?

Our two biggest airports are Aereopuerto Internacional Las Américas / Las Américas International Airport, located 30 minutes away from Santo Domingo, our capital city, and Aereopuerto Internacional Punta Cana / Punta Cana International Airport, located in Punta Cana, east coast of the Island.

  1. What are the work permit criteria for the DR? - (Canadians, American's & Australians) 

With the tourist card and your contract issued by the local production company you can work for a period of 6 months in our country, in case this period extends, a special permit should be granted to you. 

  1. How we organize bringing camera equipment into the country?

Once the project’s shooting permit is issued you can apply for the temporary import of goods & equipment permit, which allows you to bring equipment from your country for the period time of the shooting of the project, free of the customs import tax. However we also have several rental houses fully equipped with all the gear necessary for your project. 

  1. Distant hires (such as Director, Producer(s), Cast, and Crew) can all qualify under the 25% transferable tax credit as long as they’re paid through the local production service company and 1.5% is withheld – is that correct?

Yes, these expenses you mention qualify for the 25% transferable tax credit and for the 1.5 % withholding tax. (The 1.5% withholding tax is a special tax ruling that several local production houses partake here in our country.

  1. For the 1.5% withholding, through a tax treaty between the US and DR, that withholding can be applied as a credit to our U.S. hires when they file their U.S. taxes, correct?

There is no formal treaty for this, but this has been done with a certification from the Dominican tax office, that establishes the withholding tax applied to every payment.

  1. Any notable items that are non-qualified (for example airfare/shipping, publicity, insurance, etc)?

Publicity and alcohol are not qualified expenses.

  1. Aside from the $500K minimum spend, any other requirements, or caps?

No, there are no other caps.