Empire State Music and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program

Empire State Music and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program

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Objective

Objective

The Empire State Music and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program is designed to encourage music and theatrical production companies to conduct pre-tour activities, technical rehearsals and to perform shows at locations in Upstate New York, home to some of the premier regional venues for musical and theatrical production.

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Overview

Overview

The Program provides incentives for qualified production companies to conduct technical rehearsals and other pre-tour activities and perform shows in qualified regional theaters throughout Upstate New York. The program encourages the use of these Upstate entertainment venues, making them competitive with other venues located in Northeastern states that offer similar tax incentives to musical and theatrical productions produced on Broadway.

Program credits of $4 million per year can be allocated and used to encourage companies to perform and conduct technical rehearsals and other pre-tour activities in Upstate New York, to help stimulate the Upstate economy.

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Eligibility

Eligibility

Qualified companies may be eligible to receive a fully refundable credit of 25 percent of certain production and transportation expenditures directly related to the technical period* at a qualified facility in Upstate New York.

Eligible expenditures include:

  • Pre-tour production costs for design, construction and operation, including sets, special and visual effects, costumes, wardrobes, makeup, accessories and costs associated with sound, lighting and staging.
  • All salaries, wages, fees, per-diems and other compensation, including related benefits for services performed. Total allowable expenses are not to exceed $200,000 per week.
  • Technical and crew production costs, such as expenditures for qualified production facilities, or any part thereof, props, makeup, wardrobe, costumes, equipment used for special effects, sound recording, set construction and lighting.

Expenses associated with performing a show for a paying audience in a qualified production facility are eligible if the show in question has not been previously performed in any facility, other than a qualified production facility, subsequent to the completion of the technical period* in a qualified production facility.

Advertising, marketing and publicity, compensation for services performed at a location other than a qualified production facility, and any expenditure for the technical period* of the musical and theatrical production incurred at a location other than a qualified production facility are not eligible expenditures.

*Technical period means those activities performed by technical personnel of a qualified touring production prior to commencement of a tour, including, but not limited to, those personnel responsible for lighting, sound, wardrobe and props.

Qualified Production Facility 

To be considered a Qualified Production Facility, Empire State Development must receive an application and attestation indicating acknowledgment and compliance with program criteria. A list of facilities that meet the criteria of a Qualified Production Facility can be found here:

Qualified Production Facility List

Facilities can download application materials, complete and submit them via email to musictheatercredits@esd.ny.gov with the facility name in the subject line of the email.

Qualified Production Facility Application Instructions

Qualified Production Facility Application

How to Apply

Application Process 

Applications must be submitted prior to commencement of the technical period of a qualified musical and theatrical production for which it seeks a tax credit.

Applicants can download application materials, complete and submit them via email to musictheatercredits@esd.ny.gov with the project title in the subject line of the email.

Applicants for the Musical and Theatrical Tax Credit Program should read the Program Guidelines and Appendix A that contain detailed information about eligibility, qualified costs, the application process, application materials and key terms and definitions that are used in the statute, regulations and documents that comprise the application.

Program Guidelines

Appendix A

Project Summary (Initial/Final Application Forms) 

There are two fillable pdf files for applicants to the Musical and Theatrical Tax Credit Program. The application consists of a several documents that must be received by Empire State Development for an application to be deemed complete.

Project Summary - Musical and Theatrical Credit - Initial Application 

Initial Application Template Book - The Musical and Theatrical Tax Credit

Initial Application Template file contains the following templates:

  • Budget Cost Qualifier Summary Page
  • Budget Cost Qualifier Detail Page
  • Estimated Weekly Payroll Expense Schedule
  • Schedule of Qualified Expenditures
  • Supplement to the Schedule of Qualified Expenditures

Project Summary - Final Application 

Final Application Template Book - The Musical and Theatrical Tax Credit

Final Application Template file contains the following templates:

  • Budget Cost Qualifier Summary Page
  • Budget Cost Qualifier Detail Page
  • Weekly Payroll Expense Schedule
  • Employment Report
  • Retained Assets Report
  • Schedule of Qualified Expenditures
  • Supplement to the Schedule of Qualified Expenditures

Final Application-Qualified Production Facility-Template Book 

The Musical and Theatrical Tax Credit Final Application Qualified Production Facility Template file contains the following templates:

  • Weekly Payroll Expense Schedule
  • Employment Report

Applicant completes an employment report (credit-eligible hours and wages of hires) and a weekly payroll report;

Qualified facility completes a separate employment report (same as above for its hires); and

Employment reports and weekly payroll reports from BOTH the Qualified Touring Production and the Qualified Production Facility are necessary component parts of a complete final application. 

Regulations

The link below contains the final regulations for the Program.

Empire State Musical and Theatrical Tax Credit Program Final Regulations

Contact Information

If you are interested in more details or have specific questions about the Program, please contact the Empire State Musical and Theatrical Tax Credit Program at (212) 803-2328 or via email at musictheatercredits@esd.ny.gov.