New York State Film Tax Credit Program (Post-Production)
The Post-Production Tax Credit program is designed to strengthen the post-production industry in New York State and its positive impact on the State’s economy.
Program credits of $25 million are set aside from the $420 million allocated to the Film Production Program. These credits can be allocated and used to encourage companies to post their film projects in New York and help create and maintain film industry jobs.
Production companies may be eligible to receive a fully refundable credit of 30 percent of qualified post-production costs incurred in New York State (NYS).
An additional 5 percent credit may be available in the Post-Production Program for costs incurred in Upstate NY, outside the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD). The MCTD includes New York City, Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.
For the period 2015-2019, productions with budgets over $500,000 can receive an additional 10 percent credit on qualified labor expenses incurred in the following counties:
Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming, or Yates.
There is a maximum of $5 million per year that can be allocated for the additional 10 percent credit on qualified labor expenses.
- The Program is limited to the post-production of feature films, television series, relocated television series, television pilots, and films for television.
- Qualified film" shall not include (i) a documentary film, news or current affairs program, interview or talk program, "how-to" (i.e., instructional) film or program, film or program consisting primarily of stock footage, sporting event or sporting program, game show, award ceremony, film or program intended primarily for industrial, corporate or institutional end-users, fundraising film or program, daytime drama (i.e., daytime "soap opera"), commercials, music videos or "reality" program, or (ii) a production for which records are required under section 2257 of title 18, United States code, to be maintained with respect to any performer in such production (reporting of books, films, etc. with respect to sexually explicit conduct).
- The post-production credit is available when the project was filmed predominantly outside of the State and the film production company contracts their post-production work to companies in NYS specializing in post-production work.
Post-production costs associated with the production of original content for a qualified film that are incurred at a qualified post-production facility in New York State are eligible.
A qualified post-production facility is any company located in NYS and engaged in providing post-production services to film and television.
A film production company can qualify for the post-production credit if it meets either one or both of the following thresholds
- Visual Effects and Animation - The qualified VFX/Animation costs incurred at a qualified post-production facility in NYS must EITHER meet or exceed:
- 20 percent of the total VFX/Animation costs paid or incurred for VFX/Animation for the qualified film at any post-production facility anywhere; OR
- $3 million
- Post-Production - The qualified post-production costs incurred at qualified facilities in NYS, (excluding cost for VFX/Animation), must meet or exceed 75 percent of the total qualified post-production costs paid or incurred in the post-production of the film at any post-production facilities.
Fully Animated Production/Post Production - A company engaged in the production of a fully animated film is eligible for the Post-Production Credit if the qualified production and post-production costs meet the VFX/Animation threshold of 20 percent; expenses in the Producer, Director and Deliverable Elements categories are also qualified if they meet the Post Production 75 percent threshold.
On Nov. 4, Governor Cuomo signed Chapter 420 of the Laws of 2016 which extends the extra 10 percent tax credit on labor costs above $500,000 for eligible film productions to include additional counties outside of the New York metropolitan area. The new law is expected to be amended on technical grounds when the Legislature returns in the new year. Till such a new amendment is passed by the Legislature and signed into law, this additional 10% increase will only apply to eligible projects which submit both initial and final applications after Nov. 4, 2016.
How to Apply
Applicants complete and submit the Project Summary Form online. All other documents which comprise a complete application (see Chart of Application Materials for the Film Tax Credit) are submitted through the secure file transfer system. See Application Instructions document.
When submitting an application for the Post-Production Credit, all materials as indicated in the chart below must be submitted in order for the application to be deemed complete. Refer to the Chart of Application Materials for the Tax Credit when completing an initial and final application.
Applications for the Post-Production Credit should be filed prior to the start of principal photography on the qualified film, but NO LATER than the last day of principal photography, or, in the case of a television series, no later than the last day of principal photography on the first episode of the series.
When an initial application is deemed complete, the Program Office will notify an applicant that the project is eligible to submit a final application.
Upon completion of post-production, a final application must be submitted with actual project information. When the final application is deemed complete, the Program Office will notify an applicant that the application is ready for audit. After the audit, a Certificate of Tax Credit may be issued and sent to the applicant listed in the final application.
Third Party CPA Review of Final Application
Film producers applying for the post-production credit can opt to have final applications reviewed by pre-qualified CPA firms and expedite approval
The overwhelming success of the New York State Film Production Tax Credit has brought record breaking numbers of film and television productions and tax credit applications into the State. To help address the influx of final applications, Empire State Development (ESD) is offering an optional, voluntary program for third party review of final applications. This voluntary initiative is effective July 25, 2016 for the Post-Production Tax Credit Program. This procedure enables productions that choose to participate to have their final applications reviewed by pre-qualified CPA firms according to agreed-upon procedures (AUPs) established and published by ESD. The reviews and reports prepared by the pre-qualified CPA firms must be submitted as a supplement to a production's final application.
ESD staff will review the final application for completeness and the CPA report for compliance with the agreed-upon procedures. This process will expedite the final approval by ESD and is expected to free up staff to work on productions that do not opt in, and will go a long way towards reducing the time it takes for all productions to receive their credits.
- Pre-Qualified CPA firms
- Procedures and Performance Standards
- Agreed Upon Procedures - Post-Production Program
- Qualified Cost Summary - Post-Production Program
- Third Party Checklist - Post-Production Program
Complete initial and final application forms which are either online or downloadable are indicated below:
Project Summary – Post-Production Credit - Initial Application (Online Application Form)
- Post Production - Initial Application Template Book - The Post- Production Credit Initial Application Template file contains the following templates for submission via the online application:
- Budget Cost Qualifier Live Action
- Budget Cost Qualifier Animation
- Schedule of Qualified Expenditures
Project Summary – Post-Production Credit - Final Application (Online Application Form)
- End Credit Requirements
- Post Production - Final Application Template Book - The Post-Production Credit Final Application Template file contains the following templates for submission via the online application:
- Budget Cost Qualifier Summary Page
- Budget Cost Qualifier Detail Page
- Schedule of Qualified Expenditures
- Employment Report
- Retained Assets Report
- Related Party Transaction Report
The link below contains the final regulations for the Empire State Post-Production Tax Credit Program. The regulations were adopted on August 19, 2015.
Final Empire State Post-Production Tax Credit Regulations
If you are interested in more details or have specific questions about the Program, please contact the Film Tax Credit Program at (212) 803-2328 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.