Creative Industries

Investment Incentives for the Creative Industry

I. Production Expenditure Rebate Programme


Eligibility Criteria

  • Cash refund offered to any national or international producer on expenditure incurred while filming in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • For nationals: 35% rebate on expenditure between TT$100,000 to TT$51,200,000.
  • For non-nationals: Tiered system of 12.5% to 35% on initial expenditure of US$100,000 to US$8,000,000.
  • Additional 20% cash rebate on expenditure incurred on use of Qualifying Local Labour.
  • Productions must commence principal photography on or after January 1st, 2007;
  • An applicant must be the entity responsible for all activities involved in making the production in Trinidad and Tobago, and must have access to full financial information for the total production worldwide;
  • The company must be incorporated in Trinidad and Tobago for the purpose of the production of the film and have at least one Trinidad and Tobago resident company director; and
  • The production must qualify as a Trinidad and Tobago production.

These rebates apply to the following areas of filmmaking:

  • Rental of local equipment, supplies and services
  • Payment to the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services
  • Wardrobe, props and related items
  • Location fees
  • Employment of local cast and crew
  • Accommodation and food
  • Local travel and transportation costs (including drivers)


Application Procedure

There are two stages in the application process:

  1. Provisional Certificate

    This process provides an applicant with conditional guidance as to whether the film production satisfies the eligibility criteria and what portion of its expenditure can qualify for the rebate. All applicants must apply for a provisional certificate by supplying details of budgeted expenditure and other information required to the TTFC. Applicants should also submit a timeframe for the production and letters of intent from investors.

  2. Final Application

    All applicants must submit a final rebate application to the TTFC within three (3) months of completion of the film production. The following attachments are also required:

    • Audited Expenditure Statement
    • Documentation detailing source of production financing
    • Sample Footage, including the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Credit
    • Attested Declaration
    • An original Tax Clearance Certificate

    Three completed copies of the application in its relevant form, including all required documentation, should be sent to TTFC. A panel established by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company will assess applications for the rebate. The issuing of a certificate is at the panel’s discretion and all decisions are final.

    For more information and application forms, visit:

II. Tax Deduction for Sponsorship of Audio, Visual and Video Productions

Under the Corporation Tax Act, companies who sponsor audio, visual or video production for the purposes of local education or reflecting local culture for use in radio, television or cinematic graphics are eligible for a tax deduction of 150% of actual expenditure incurred up to a maximum of $12 Million

NOTE: After carrying out the relevant expenditure, companies must submit their Corporation Tax Return by the tax year ending 30th April of each year.


III. Tax Allowances for Creative Sector Sponsorship

Sections 10G(1), 10I(1), 10J(1), 10K(1), 10L(1) and 10Q(1) of the Corporation Tax Act provide for tax allowances relating to the sponsorship of arts and culture, sporting activities or events, audio, visual or video productions, production companies and the fashion industry up to TT$12,000,000.

These allowances can be 100% or 150% of the actual expenditure and shall be treated as deductions when ascertaining the chargeable profits of the company for that year of income.

For more details, including the particular allowances of the various expenditures, refer to the Corporation Tax Act, Chapter 75:02

Responsible Agency/Contact Person

Inland Revenue Division
Government Campus Plaza, 2-4 Ajax Street, Port of Spain

Mr. Dabie Dookharan, Supervisor Taxpayers Services
Tel: (868) 800-8299 ext. 10436


IV. Exemption from Customs Duty

Enterprises engaged in the film industry are allowed duty free concessions on machinery, equipment and materials for the production of motion pictures. Terminal equipment or other equipment to be installed or used for a public telecommunications network, service or radio service are also eligible for import duty concessions based upon the provisions of the Third Schedule of the Customs Act, Chapter 78:01 (as amended). The service must be certified by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. 


V. Remission of VAT and Duty on the temporary importation of film production equipment

Film producers who import film equipment temporarily into Trinidad and Tobago for production purposes are required to post a Customs Bond which is refunded when the equipment leaves the country.

Provision exists for the remission of Customs Duty under Section 9(1) of the Customs Act, Chapter 78:01 which states that ‘the President may, upon application by the importer or exporter remit or refund in whole or in part any Customs Duty whenever he shall deem it expedient to do so’.

Under Section 44(b) of the Value Added Tax Act 1989, goods that are imported for temporary use shall not be charged Value Added Tax on entry, except where such goods cannot be reasonably exported within three months or, that the goods are liable to Customs Duty.

Section 55(2) of the Value Added Tax Act states, inter alia, that Section 124 of the Income Tax Act shall apply to the administration of this Act and the collection and recovery of any amount payable, as if that amount were payable under that Act. Section 124 of the Income Tax Act states that the President may remit or refund in whole or in part the tax payable or paid as the case may be by any person if he is satisfied that it would be just and equitable to do so.

Therefore, international production companies wishing to Film in Trinidad and Tobago must advise FilmTT of the full list of equipment being brought into the country. This information is forwarded to the Ministry of Trade and Industry which is reviewed and sent to the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance seeks Cabinet approval to proceed. This approval is then conveyed to Customs and Excise.


VI. Grant Fund Facility for the Creative Industries

The Grant Fund Facility provides financial assistance to develop small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that: (i) are involved in the production of high value-added products and services that can compete in export markets; and (ii) foster the economy’s diversification thrust. Through this facility, local business persons can access individual Grants from the fund up to a maximum of $250,000 per beneficiary to finance 50% of the cost of the acquisition.

One of the eight (8) eligible areas for funding under this Grant is Creative Industries. Funding is specifically available for the acquisition of new machinery, equipment, technology/software for businesses involved in:

The development/sale of intellectual property of a cultural nature such as: film (including animation), fashion, music, dance, theatre, visual and performing arts, broadcasting, literature and publishing, heritage festivals including Carnival.

For further details and Application Forms visit:


VII. Research and Development Fund for the Creative Industries

The RDF is a grant fund which provides financial support to, inter alia, the Creative Industries. The aim of the project is to stimulate and support investment in new and advanced technology and innovation as a competitiveness enhancement tool for enterprises in this sector.


Eligible companies can access funding in three (3) phases:

Phase 1: Feasibility- 70% of the total cost of the project up to $100,000.00;

Phase 2: Product and service development- 50% of the total cost of the project, up to $750,000.00;

Phase 3: Product/Service Commercialization- up to $150,000.00

Special Conditions apply.


For more details, visit: