New York State Film Tax Credit Program (Post-Production)

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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.

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Program Highlights

To encourage companies to post their film projects in New York and help create and maintain film industry jobs, productions which comply with requirements may be eligible for a fully refundable tax credit of 30% of qualified post-production expenses. This tax credit program is funded at $45 million a year through 2034.

An additional 5% 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.

Additionally, projects 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, 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.

Additional Credit Map

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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, (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), or (iii)  other than  a relocated television production, a television series commonly known as variety entertainment, variety  sketch  and  variety  talk,  i.e., a program with components of improvisational or scripted content (monologues, sketches,  interviews), either  exclusively  or in combination with other entertainment elements such as musical performances, dancing, cooking, crafts, pranks, stunts.

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 Credit

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

  1. 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
  2. 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.

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How to Apply

Application Process

  • 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.

Online Application Form

Chart of Application Materials for the Film Tax Credit

Application Instructions

Applications for the Post-Production Credit must be filed prior to incurring any qualified costs in New York State; therefore, it’s recommended (but not required) that the initial application be submitted prior to the start of principal photography on the qualified film (or tv pilot/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.

Program Guidelines

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

Empire State Development (ESD) offers an optional, voluntary program for third party review of final applications. 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.

  1. Pre-Qualified CPA firms
  2. Procedures and Performance Standards
  3. Agreed Upon Procedures - Post-Production Program  
  4. Qualified Cost Summary - Post-Production Program
  5. Third Party Checklist - Post-Production Program

Post-Production Credit 

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 and Animation)
  • Schedule of Qualified Expenditures (Live Action and Animation)

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 (Live Action and Animation)
  • Budget Cost Qualifier Detail Page (Live Action and Animation)
  • Schedule of Qualified Expenditures (Live Action and Animation)
  • Employment Report
  • Retained Assets Report
  • Related Party Transaction Report 

Contact Information

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 [email protected].