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Did the California Film Commission recently adopt new regulations in connection to the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0?

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Peter J. Scalise
Yes, the California Film Commission has recently adopted new regulations effective on April 13, 2015 (i.e., Cal. Code Regs. §§ 5508, 5509, 5510, 5511, 5512, 5513, 5514, 5515, and 5516, Tit. 10) to implement the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0, including but not limited to guidance in connection to expanded definitions; the application process for tax credit allocations; the eligibility determination; the qualified production expenditures; the approved applicant responsibility; the credit certificate issuance process; the job ratio ranking process; and the on screen credit and promotional requirements.

The new regulations implement the new California Film & Television Tax Credit Program under the corporate income and franchise tax laws and the personal income tax laws that were enacted by the 2014 legislation (i.e., A1839, c. 413). As a synopsis, the 2014 legislation represented a true paradigm shift from the previous program as it more than tripled the size of the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program funding from $100 million to $330 million and it expanded a range of project types that were previously ineligible. The primary changes from the prior program include:

• Increases tax credit program funding from $100 million to $330 million and extended the program for 5 years;
• Expands eligibility to big-budget feature films, 1-hr TV series (i.e., for any distribution outlet) and TV pilots;
• Eliminates budget caps for studio and independent films;
• Replaces lottery selection with a ranking system based on jobs and other criteria; and
• Adds a 5% “Uplift” for productions that film outside the 30-Mile Zone, as well as for visual effects and music scoring/recording performed in-state.

For complete legislative updates from Capitol Hill and coverage of the latest statutory, administrative, and judicial interpretations please follow Peter J. Scalise at: www.taxconnections.com/profile/Peter-J-Scalise/12259077
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