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What is the current status of the New York State Film Tax Credit Program as I have several movie and television studios making inquires into our CPA Firm for guidance?

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Peter J. Scalise
Movie and Television Studios ecstatically praised Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Legislature for enacting the 2017 – 2018 New York State budget which includes the full extension of the New York State Film Tax Credit Program (“NYSFTCP”) through the year 2022. Since inception, the NYSFTCP has generated a tremendous economic incentive to bolster job growth while encouraging the development of additional infrastructure for both production and post-production facilities throughout New York.

More specifically, the passage of the 2017 – 2018 New York State budget of $153.1 billion encompasses funding of $420 million per year to sustain the NYSFTCP that includes fully refundable tax credits of 30% on qualifying production and post-production activities and corresponding expenditures incurred within New York State, plus an additional 10% credit on projects with budgets of more than $500,000 incurred within select counties including Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, or Yates.

Chris Dodd, the Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, stated “this will ensure stability and predictability for television and motion picture producers that utilize one of the most successful incentive programs worldwide”. Mr. Dodd further indicated that “New York will continue to create thousands of jobs and add billions of dollars to the New York State economy as even more television series and feature film productions will locate in the Empire State.”

The Directors Guild of America stated that “the Directors Guild of America commends Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for renewing the NYSFTCP. Thanks to this incentive, production across the state has more than tripled over the past decade, together with the earnings of our members who live and work in New York’s communities. This extension ensures continued prosperity for New York as a premier destination for television series and feature films well into the future.”

Thomas J. O’Donnell, the President of Theatrical Teamsters, Local 817 stated that the “Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 applauds Governor Cuomo’s budget extending the NYSFTCP. We have witnessed during the stewardship of the Governor an expansion of solid, middle-class jobs in the television industry and with the extension in place, fully expect to see continued growth.”

In closing, whether you’re a publicly held movie studio conglomerate producing and distributing substantial numbers of films annually commanding significant shares of box office revenues worldwide or an independent filmmaker, movie and television production tax incentives should certainly be considered and incorporated into the tax planning process to properly tax effect the cost of filmmaking to jubilantly end their productions rejoicing “Lights, Camera, Action and Tax Cut!”

For a complimentary consultation on the scope and application of the New York State Film Tax Credit Program, please contact Peter J. Scalise, Federal Tax Credits & Incentives Practice Leader for Prager Metis CPAs at pscalise@pragermetis.com
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