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Find production companies, locations services, film equipment and camera rental companies, post production companies, film crew, and many more production services for your commercial, TV or film production in California, USA, including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Burbank, Beverly Hills and Hollywood.

USA

Tax Incentives - Useful tax information for filming in California, USA

Type of Incentive
20%–25% Non-Refundable Tax Credit
Maximum Benefit

NOTE: For FY 2015-2016, two film incentive programs will coexist. The new program (incorporating changes and additions to the old program) becomes effective July 1, 2015. The old program will also continue through June 30, 2016.

INCENTIVE: Maximum tax credit, including additional credits or uplifts, may not exceed 25% for any qualified expenditure.

  • 20% tax credit for feature film, MOW, miniseries, and new TV series for basic cable. Effective July 1, 2015, new program allows new TV series for any distribution outlet, TV pilots, and subsequent seasons for relocating projects to be eligible for 20% credit.

  • 25% tax credit for relocating television series and independent film.

New program provides for additional incentives:

  • No maximum budget requirement for feature films and no maximum qualified expenditures budget requirement for independent films.

  • Uplift: 5% additional credit for qualified expenditures relating to original photography outside the 30-mile Los Angeles Studio Zone (pre-production through strike).

  • Uplift: 5% additional credit for visual effects and music scoring/track recording attributable to a qualified motion picture in CA.

Compensation and Project Caps/ Funding Per Year

This incentive program is not administered on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding based on a lottery system under the old program (already allocated for FY 2014-2015).

Annual Cap: $100M through FY 2015-2016.
Project Cap: None.
Comp Cap: None.

Effective July 1, 2015: Lottery system will be replaced with a Jobs-Ratio ranking system.

New Program Caps:

Project Cap: None, but first $100M in qualified expenditures for feature films and first $10M in qualified expenditures for independent films count toward the tax credit.

Annual Cap: $230M for FY 2015-2016 (in addition to $100M for old program); $330M per subsequent year through FY 2019-2020.

Comp Cap: None.

What Qualifies

Amounts paid or incurred to purchase or lease tangible personal property used within CA in the production of a qualified motion picture and payments, including qualified wages, for services performed within CA in the production of a qualified motion picture. Wages that do not qualify include payments to writers, directors, music directors, music composers, music supervisors, producers, and performers, other than background actors with no scripted or ad-lib lines. If completion bond fee affects the eligibility of a production to qualify for the tax credit program, then this fee may be deducted from the qualified expenditures budget (independent film) or the production budget (features). However, the deducted bond fee will not be considered a qualified expenditure for this program. Expenditures incurred 30 days after the creation of final elements (e.g., composite answer prints, air master, digital cinema files) do not qualify.

Sunset/Review
2020-06-30 00:00:00
Application Considerations

The California Film Commission staff is currently developing the new program guidelines and other administrative procedures. Please check the CFC website for updates at www.film.ca.gov.

Application Considerations

CPA required. Principal photography must commence no later than 180 days after the Credit Allocation Letter is issued. A 'hiatus' during principal photography may not be longer than 100 calendar days in aggregate for the entire duration of the production. Post-production must be 'completed' within 30 months of the issuance of the Credit Allocation Letter. A qualified taxpayer or an affiliate may make an irrevocable election to apply the credits toward sales and use taxes.

Transfer Considerations: Taxpayers may elect to assign the credit to affiliated corporations. Only tax credits issued to an independent film company (not publicly traded or owned more than 25%, directly or indirectly, by a publicly traded company) may be transferred or sold to one unrelated party. Credits cannot be sold to more than one party and may not be resold by the unrelated party to another taxpayer or other party. Tax credits are governed by the year the credit certificate is received. Productions must retain all records pertinent to the credit certificate for three years from the date of filing their tax return claiming the credits.

Carry Forward: 5 Years.

Loan-Out Company Considerations

Registration: None; however, non-resident loan-outs who fail to register with the Secretary of State are subject to withholding tax.

Withholding: None; however, non-resident loan-outs who fail to register with the Secretary of State are subject to withholding tax.

Crew Base Considerations

Substantial crew base statewide; estimated to be over 100 deep.

Is Mappable
No
Has Incentive Program
No
You Should Know

Required deadlines to meet: Call sheet on first day of principal photography. Weekly submittal of daily final production reports. Monthly status reports, CA fiscal year end report. NOTE: In-state work verification letters required from each contracted vendor.

TCP Available
No
Screen Credit Required
No
Project Criteria

>= 75% of principal photography days must occur in CA OR 75% of production budget is incurred for payment for services and purchase or rental of property in-state to qualify as a 'qualified motion picture.'

  • Minimum spend $1M for feature films with $75M maximum total budget, independent films with $10M maximum qualified expenditures budget, and new TV series distributed through basic cable.

  • Minimum spend $500K for MOW with at least 75 minutes of programming/ miniseries with at least two episodes and 150 minutes of aggregate programming.

  • New TV series must have a running time of no less than 60 minutes (inclusive of commercial advertisements and interstitial programming).

  • Relocated TV series has no minimum spend and episode length requirement, may be distributed in any media, and must film all of its previous seasons (minimum six episodes) outside CA.

  • Minimum spend $1M for new TV series for any distribution outlet and TV pilots (at least 40 minutes per episode excluding commercials).

  • Minimum spend $1M per episode for relocated TV series, without regard to episode length and filmed its most recent season outside of CA.

  • Additional 5% credit for visual effects requires >= 75% of VFX budget or $10M of qualified VFX expenditures incurred in CA and attributable to a qualified motion picture.

Commissioner

California Film Commission | www.film.ca.gov

Amy Lemisch, Director | Phone: 323.830.2960 | filmca@film.ca.gov


Additional Benefit

Name
Sales and Use Tax Exemption
Name
Hotel Tax Exemption
Stipulations
"Waiver Required"

Minimum Spend

Amount
500000
Fine Print
"(MOW\/ Miniseries)"
Amount
1000000
Fine Print
"(Film\/New TV)"

Features

Soundstages
Yes
Post Facilities
Yes
Water Tank
Yes
Beach
Yes
Bridges
Yes
Big City
Yes
Desert
Yes
Mountains
Yes
Historical Architecture
Yes
Southern
No
Tropical
No

Expenditure

In-State Vendors
NA
Out-of-State Vendors
NA
Fringes Paid
NA
Taxes Paid
NA

Qualified Compensation Expenditures

Name
BTL
Summary Percentage
0.20
Range High
0.25
Name
Spend
Summary Percentage
0.20
Range High
0.25

Qualified Compensation Expenditures

Animation
No
Award Shows
No
Broadway
No
Commercials
No
Documentaries
No
Feature Films
Yes
Game Shows
No
Industrials
No
Infomercials
No
Interactive Media and Video Games
No
Music Videos
No
News
No
Post-Production
Yes
Reality Shows
No
Scripted Shows
Yes
Soundtrack
No
Sporting Events
No
Talk Shows
No
Trailers
No
Visual Effects
Yes
Webisodes
No

Proposed Legislation

Identifier
CA Rev and Tax Code §17053.85, §23685; AB1069
Identifier
CA Rev and Tax Code §17053.85, §23685; AB1069

These materials have been prepared by Entertainment Partners for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax advice or relied on for specific projects. Though every effort has been made to remain current, laws and incentives change and, therefore, this information may have been revised. Please contact EP Financial Solutions or your legal or tax advisors to confirm any laws or the effect of incentives on your project.

Copyright © 2019 Entertainment Partners. All Rights Reserved.