On March 2012, then-Governor Luis Fortuno signed a new package of tax breaks designed to encourage Hollywood crews to film in Puerto Rico. Fortuno announced that with the programs already in place, about 30 productions came to film on the island since March 2011, generating about $80 million in revenues. Many U.S. states already have similar programs to entice producers to choose their locales, but Fortuno said that the new incentives will make Puerto Rico among the most attractive locales available.
The Puerto Rico Film commission specified that the new tax breaks includes the extension of a 20 percent tax credit on payments to other “qualified” non-residents. This complemented the existing 40 percent tax break on payments to residents of Puerto Rico, and the 20 percent tax credit for payments to non-resident actors. The law also simplified the procedure to receive a 25 percent tax credit for infrastructure, helping Puerto Rico to build state-of-the-art systems including high-capacity studios. Additional tax benefits are also available to entities engaged in qualifying media and infrastructure projects as well as operators of studios and other purpose-built media facilities.
Other factors that make Puerto Rico an attractive location is the fact that as a U.S. territory, there is no foreign exchange rate, local crews speak English, and it is a safe shooting location that often stands in for Mexico and other places in Latin America, where the possibility of violence can disrupt shoots and cause concern for both talent and insurers.
GAC’s Sports, Entertainment and Media Practice Group provides a full range of legal services to media production companies and individual artists who wish to take advantage of Puerto Rico’s unique possibilities.