Tax information for the screen production industry
New Zealand has a relatively simple, low-cost tax system with no regional or state taxes.
- Producers should seek advice from a New Zealand tax professional to ensure their productions meet New Zealand’s income tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and grant requirements.
- Some information is available on the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department website.
Insurance regulations for your film production
New Zealand has a unique personal accident insurance environment based on a no-fault Accident Compensation Insurance scheme. This scheme trades the ability to sue in New Zealand for damages due to accident, in exchange for automatic accident insurance cover.
Worker Compensation Insurance
- The Accident Compensation Commission (ACC)scheme applies to all injuries incurred in New Zealand, regardless of the injured person's country of residence.
- Funding for ACC is levied from all New Zealand resident employers, employees and self-employed contractors. In turn, all New Zealand resident workers are covered by ACC.
- The ACC status of overseas residents differs according to length of stay, and employee status with their production company.
- International production companies with insurance arrangements in their country of origin should ensure their policies extend to work in New Zealand. All other enquiries should be directed to ACC or discussed with your line producer.
- Under ACC, an employee cannot sue an employer. However, employers must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
- The production company needs to be New Zealand-registered to take advantage of New Zealand’s employment laws and occupational safety and health system.
Public Liability Insurance
- Because the ACC scheme negates citizens' ability to sue for damages caused by accident, public liability insurance limits are typically much lower in New Zealand.
Public liability coverage for contractors
- For tax and ACC reasons, many New Zealand cast and crew prefer to work as contractors, rather than production company employees.
- Since public liability policies (unless endorsed) only cover the company and its employees, it's important to ensure that contractors working on a production have their own public liability cover.
- Statutory liability is available in New Zealand. This generally covers the cost of defence for fines and penalties, and in some limited circumstances may cover the fines and penalties themselves.
- Your local line producer can advise on any fine-tuning of your health and safety practices for New Zealand conditions.