Following its establishment in 2011, the Hungarian National Film Fund put significant efforts to reform the Hungarian film incentive system. From 2012 on, Film Fund has been able to collect financial support entitling the provider for corporate tax allowances to its dedicated collection account. This account effectively functions as a guarantee for those filmmakers who could not find sponsors on their own. In 2015, the Film Fund has been eligible to collect HUF 12 billion (approx. USD 41 million) tax rebate funds, which amount increases to HUF 14 billion (approx. USD 48 million) in 2016.
The settlement of the tax rebate from the collection account takes place in the order of the verification of the productions costs by the Film Office (i.e. on a first come, first served basis) up to the amount available on the collection account. Regarding the tax rebate system, the biggest challenge in recent years has been the collection of tax rebate funds on a timely manner as the receipt of funds has shown significant seasonality. The current amendment to the Act on Motion Picture targeted to resolve this timing issue.
While leaving the current tax rebate system unchanged, the Hungarian Tax Authority will automatically supplement the amount already collected by the Film Fund on a quarterly basis to the pro rata of the overall amount. Hence, for the delight of production companies wishing to shoot in Hungary, the unhealthy year-end seasonality of the collection and the disbursement of the tax rebate will cease; the disbursement of the tax rebate will become automatic, the timing of the funds will become predictable. The amendment will come into force on January 1, 2016 and the first automatic top-up of the collection account will take place in April 2016, concerning the pro-rata amount of HUF 3.5 billion. The disbursement of the tax rebate on the production costs verified in 2015 but still unpaid can be expected in December 2015 or January 2016 (due to the year-end seasonality).