Hungary passes tax rebate law

Film tax law expired at the end of December

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Hungarian filmmakers and international producers breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday as the Hungarian Parliament passed its long-awaited film law.

Rumor had it at the end of last year that the European Commission would demand that Hungary end its 20% tax rebate for international productions. The EC put Hungary under the microscope when its film tax law expired Dec. 31 without a new EU-approved law to take its place.

Ultimately, a strong majority of Hungarian lawmakers signed off on a modified version of the country's 2004 law, keeping perhaps the single most attractive factor for productions considering Hungary -- the 20% tax rebate.

The modified law heavily underlines the need for cultural content that promotes Hungarian or European values and traditions. However, it is widely believed that foreign productions using largely Hungarian crews will qualify for the rebate.

The European Commission will ratify the law in a month.
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