Private funding for culture is regulated in by the Law on Charity and Sponsorship (1993), the Law on Patronage (2018),the Law on Personal Income Tax (2002) and the Law on Corporate Income Tax (2001).
According to Article 9 of the Law on Charity and Sponsorship, natural persons can transfer an amount not exceeding 2% of the income tax payable on the basis of an annual income tax return to Lithuanian entities that are entitled to sponsorship, i.e. charity and sponsorship funds; budget financed institutions; associations; public organisations; public agencies; religious communities, associations and religious centres; divisions (chapters) of international public organisations; other legal persons whose activities are regulated by special laws and which participate in not-for-profit activity; artists registered as beneficiaries in the Information System of Artist’s and Artist’s Organisations maintained by the Ministry of Culture.
Data about the sponsorship provided and received by legal persons are collected by the Lithuanian Department of Statistics. According to this data, legal persons working in the field of culture received more than 13 million EUR sponsorship in 2018. Compared to other areas, culture receives nearly as much sponsorship as education, but almost three times less than sport. The total amount provided by sponsors for culture did not change significantly over the last five years.
Table 44: Sponsorship received by legal persons in various fields in 2014–2018 (in EUR)
|Culture||12 763 000||11 326 700||11 406 900||11 721 500||13 273 200|
|Education||10 702 900||13 077 000||17 930 200||12 763 800||12 881 700|
|Sport||38 996 000||40 482 700||42 319 200||37 495 500||40 821 000|
|Religion||10 776 600||7 311 500||7 851 400||8 446 400||9 594 600|
The Lithuanian Department of Statistics also provides some data about sponsors. According to the data, Lithuanian wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing enterprises provided the biggest share of sponsorship. Among foreign sponsors, companies of the USA, Germany and Switzerland were the most generous.
Table 45: Sponsorship for culture provided anonymously and by Lithuanian and foreign legal persons in 2014–2018 (in EUR)
|Lithuanian legal persons||8 764 000||8 630 000||8 334 500||8 382 400||8 760 000|
|Foreign legal persons||2 702 800||1 481 300||1 406 500||1 351 000||1 628 700|
|Anonymous||1 296 200||1 215 400||1 665 900||1 988 100||2 884 500|
According to the Article 34 of the Law on Personal Income Tax, after the end of the tax period, the tax administrator must, at the request of a resident of Lithuania and in accordance with the procedure established by the Government, transfer to Lithuanian entities that are entitled to sponsorship under the Law on Charity and Sponsorship an amount not exceeding 2% (since 2020 – 1.2 per cent) of the income tax payable on the basis of an annual income tax return. According to the data of Lithuanian State Tax Inspectorate, in 2019, at the requests of the residents of Lithuania, the inspectorate transferred a total of 21 096 378 EUR to 23 492 organisations entitled to receive sponsorship. However, the data of how much of this amount of sponsorship went to artists and cultural organisations is lacking.
The Law on Corporate Income Tax of the Republic of Lithuania provides a regulation for sponsorship. Article 28 states that taxpayers who are entitled to provide sponsorship under the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Charity and Sponsorship shall be allowed to deduct from their income two times the payments made, including assets transferred and services rendered, which are intended for sponsorship (see chapter 4.1.4 for more about the legal regulation of sponsorship).
The amendment of the Law on Corporate Income Tax in 2013 stimulated the private funding of Lithuanian cinema. Article 172 of the Law states, that in calculating corporate income tax, funds granted free of charge to a Lithuanian filmmaker for the production of a film or a part thereof in the Republic of Lithuania may be deducted from the taxable income. Due to the incentive, in the period between 2014 and the end of 2017, investors in Lithuania provided funds for the production of 68 films, including 22 national films, 23 co-production films and 23 foreign production films. In total, over 8.5 million EUR was invested in film production in Lithuania during this period, 1 million EUR (11.2%) for national films, almost 2.8 million EUR (32.8%) for co-productions, and almost 4.8 million EUR (56%) for foreign films. During the period of four years when the tax incentive was in force, the total expenditure of film production using the tax incentive scheme exceeded 43 million EUR, of which 24.4 million EUR was an investment by foreign film producers.
The Law on Patronage, adopted by the Seimas in 2018, has not yet made any significant impact on private funding for culture. The Law provides that the title of a national patron is awarded to a person who has provided at least one million EUR in support to the patronage project(s) at the state or more than one municipality level. A title of patron of a municipality is awarded to the person who has provided at least 150 000 EUR in support of the patronage project(s) in the municipality with a permanent population of 25 000 or less, and in case of the municipalities with more than 25 000 permanent residents, the title of a municipal patron is awarded to a person who has provided at least 250 000 EUR support for the implementation of the sponsored project(s) at municipal level. The Government assesses the compliance of the projects with the requirements of this Law, recognises the projects as appropriate to patronage, grants the title of the national patron and adopts decisions on the loss of the title of the national patron on the proposal of the Patronage Council. In 2018, the Patronage Council awarded the first title of national patron for the one million EUR support for the Balbieriškis Church restoration project.