Cinema operators; notification for film release

If you show films in your cinema, you have to report your turnover and attendance figures and pay a film tax if your turnover exceeds a certain level.

Description

Prerequisites

The film levy must be paid by

  • Cinema operators and organizers of film screenings in Germany (film halls/indoor and seasonal cinema/outdoor),
    • who hold film screenings with a duration of more than 58 minutes in return for an admission fee and
    • whose net sales from admission tickets in the previous year exceeded EUR 100,000 per screen.

Notice:
Mandatory other payments such as mandatory donations also count as admission and are included in net ticket sales.
Free tickets may not be reported.

Procedure

You must report your visitor and turnover figures online to the Filmförderungsanstalt for the calculation of the film levy.

If you open or operate a cinema with screens (indoors):

  • Register in the online portal Filmabgabe of the German Federal Film Board. You must provide the following information when registering:
    • Location where you operate your cinema
    • Name of the operator
    • Contact
    • Name of your cinema
    • Name of the screens
    • Number of screens
    • Number of seats per screen and
    • Opening date of your cinema.
  • After registration, the FFA will send you by mail.
    • Your operator and screen number(s) and
    • your password for the online portal.
  • Log in to the online portal Filmabgabe with your operator number (user number) and password and submit your sales and visitor figures to the FFA on a monthly basis via this portal. You can report these figures as follows:
    • electronically by file or by interface directly from your box office system or
    • by manual entry directly in the online portal, if you do not have an electronic box office system.
  • The FFA will process your notification and send you the notice of the film levy due on a regular basis by post.
  • Payment for screens subject to the levy is due in parallel with the notification on the 10th of the following month. Give the FFA a SEPA direct debit mandate or pay your film levy by bank transfer.

If you open or operate a seasonal cinema, such as an open-air or drive-in cinema (outside)

  • You must first apply in writing or by e-mail to the Association of Film Distributors (VdF) for open-air status without providing your operator and screen number. You must provide the following information for this:
    • Location where you operate your cinema
    • Operator of the cinema (who gets the money)
    • Contact person
    • Name of the cinema
    • Name of the screen
    • Number of seats per screen and
    • Opening and closing dates of your screen (From when to when do you operate your seasonal cinema?).
  • You must also provide this information to the Film Board via email or regular mail.
  • The FFA will send you by e-mail
    • Your operator and screen number/s and
    • your password for the online portal.
  • Log in to the online portal Filmabgabe with your operator number (user number) and password and use it to submit your sales and visitor figures to the FFA on a monthly basis. You can report these figures as follows:
    • electronically by file or by interface directly from your box office system or
    • by manual entry directly in the online portal if you do not have an electronic box office system.
  • The FFA will process your registration and send you the notice of the film levy due by post on a regular basis.
  • The payment for screens subject to levy is due parallel to the notification on the 10th of the following month. Give the FFA a SEPA direct debit mandate or pay your film levy by bank transfer.

Deadlines

Reporting and payment of the film levy:

  • Reporting of sales figures: monthly, on the 10th of the following month in each case.
  • Payment of film levy: monthly, in each case on the 10th of the following month

Processing time

  • Allocation of operator and screen number: usually 1 to 2 working days.
  • Calculation of the film levy after reporting the turnover and visitor numbers: The levy amount is displayed in the portal if reported manually. POS systems calculate the levy due automatically using the stored levy rate.

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    When applying/registering with the German Federal Film Board (FFA), you must submit:

    • Commercial register excerpt or association register excerpt
    • Business registration, if applicable

Fees

    • no costs for application/registration and reporting

Remedy

  • Objection (1 month) against administrative acts (notices)
  • Action (1 month) against objection notices

Status:03.03.2024

Responsible for editing:Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien

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