Local February 13, 2024 | 11:21 am

Dominican film industry alarmed over threats to tax exemptions

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican film industry sounded an alarm on Monday regarding a perceived infringement of Film Law regulations by the General Directorate of Internal Taxes (DGII), leading to the removal of tax exemptions for national productions.

The industry contends that the DGII’s unilateral decision has caused widespread concern within the country’s film sector, posing a threat to the entire thriving industry. According to industry representatives, this measure violates Article 141 of the Cinema Law and contradicts regulations approved by presidential decree.

The attempt to undermine the Film Law, primarily through Article 34, aimed at eliminating tax exemptions for national productions, could negatively impact the inflow of foreign currency facilitated by Article 39. This particular article focuses on exemptions for foreign productions filming in the country. Even if Article 39 remains unaffected, industry leaders fear it may trigger a skeptical response from foreign producers, creating a crisis of credibility within the country’s legal framework.

The industry’s communication reveals that legal offices associated with the film sector have reported the DGII’s adoption of this measure in a “dictatorial” manner, disregarding the unanimous decision of the Intersectoral Council for the Promotion of Cinematographic Activity (CIPAC), which did not approve the proposal.

CIPAC, comprising the DGII and other institutions, is the regulatory body created by law to oversee institutions involved in this sector. Despite being a highly efficient body, with 14 planned meetings for 2024, the DGII’s decision appears to contradict unanimous decisions made within CIPAC.

As per Article 141 of the Film Law, the Investment Validation Resolution issued by CIPAC must be notified at least 15 days before the investor’s Affidavit presentation. However, the DGII has unilaterally extended this period to 30 days, contrary to the stipulations of the law.

Industry representatives express concern that the DGII’s unilateral action could jeopardize the legal guarantees characterizing the country, potentially affecting the stability and credibility of the tax exemptions established by the Film Law. This, in turn, could have adverse consequences for both domestic and foreign productions choosing to film in the Dominican Republic, according to the industry’s statement.

The measure has sparked discomfort and disbelief within the industry and among investors. Even Minister of Culture Milagros Germán has reportedly protested, being the presiding authority in CIPAC. Credible sources indicate that she has requested a meeting with the president to address the situation urgently.

Industry leaders conclude by emphasizing the urgent need for relevant authorities to address the situation promptly and implement necessary measures to ensure the stability and continued growth of the country’s cultural industries, particularly the film sector.

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