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For a complete overview of changes made in 2017, click here.
For applications received on or after July 1, 2017, Louisiana's Motion Picture Production Program, statutorily known as Motion Picture Production Tax Credit, provides motion picture productions up to a 40% tax credit on total qualified in-state production expenditures, including resident and non-resident labor. For productions that opt to do VFX in Louisiana, there is also an additional 5% credit on the VFX spend if at least 50% of the VFX budget is expended for services performed in Louisiana by an approved QEC, or a minimum of $1 million in qualified VFX expenditures are made in Louisiana.
on qualified in-state production expenditures
for Louisiana screenplay productions
if outside of the New Orleans Metro Statistical Area
$50,000 minimum in-state expenditure requirement for Louisiana screenplay productions. $300,000 minimum in-state expenditure requirement on all other eligible productions.
The maximum amount of credits that can be issued is $150 million per fiscal year. The maximum amount of credits that can be claimed is $180 million per fiscal year.
Tax credits may be used to offset personal or corporate income tax liability in Louisiana.
Tax credits may be transferred back to the State for 90% of face value (requires a 2% transfer fee which results in an 88% net).
Complete application form online. In order for the application to be considered received, ALL information and fees (application and expenditure verification report deposit) must be submitted.
If approved, LED issues Initial Certification.
Track production project's expenses.
Submit a cost report to the office online.
An expenditure verification report is performed by an independent CPA selected by Office of Entertainment Industry Development.
If approved, LED issues Final Certification for the amount of the tax credit.
Claim credits on Louisiana tax return or elect transfer back to State for 90 percent of face value (requires a 2% transfer fee which results in an 88% net).
All incentive program rules are in the Louisiana Administrative Code maintained by the Office of the State Register. For rules, go to Part 1, Chapter 61.
The program is open to all motion picture production companies headquartered and domiciled in Louisiana producing nationally or internationally distributed motion pictures with total Louisiana expenditures exceeding $300,000, or $50,000 for Louisiana screenplay productions.
Base Investment Credit Rates (applicable to entire eligible spend):
25% base credit
10% increase for Louisiana screenplay productions (if production is based on a screenplay created by a Louisiana resident with expenditures greater than $50,000 but no greater than $5 million)
5% increase for out of NOLA zone filming (if production’s office base and at least 60% of principal photography occurs outside of the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area)
Additional Credits (applicable to the particular spend only):
15% Louisiana resident payroll credit: Compensation for services paid directly to a Louisiana resident shall be eligible for a 15% payroll tax credit on the qualified Louisiana payroll only. Payments made to a loan-out company are not eligible for this credit.
5% visual effects (VFX) credit: If at least 50% of the production’s VFX budget is expended for services performed in Louisiana by an approved Qualified Entertainment Company (QEC) or a minimum of $1 million on qualified VFX expenditures are made in Louisiana, the production shall be eligible for an additional 5% credit on the qualified VFX spend only.
**Total Credits cannot exceed 40% of the base investment
Qualifying productions include:
Non-qualifying productions include:
Eligible Production Expenditures
Non-eligible Production Expenditures
Applicant completes and submits the online application with supporting documents and fees to OEID. Supporting documents include the following:
Prior to OEID’s review of the application, an expenditure verification report (aka “audit”) deposit shall be submitted according to the following schedule:
Once the application is complete (including receipt of the audit deposit), the project is evaluated for eligibility, and if OEID determines that the project meets eligibility requirements in accordance with State law and the program rules and regulations, then an Initial Certification letter will be issued. The Initial Certification letter does NOT certify any expenditures for tax credits. Additional detailed guidelines are provided within the initial certification letter.
The applicant signs the Initial Certification letter and returns it to OEID.
Upon completion of the production, the applicant shall notify OEID that they are ready to proceed to final certification and submit a cost report. The assigned CPA will start their audit and provide a report to OEID.
The CPA may require additional support and/or verification for certain expenditures.
The credits can now be applied to the applicant’s (or their irrevocable designee’s) Louisiana income taxes or transferred to the state for 90% of the face value (net of 88% due to a 2% fee that LDR will collect).
What is the minimum threshold to qualify?
$300,000 in Louisiana expenditures, $50,000 for Louisiana screenplay productions.
What qualifies for the additional 15% payroll tax credit?
To the extent that base investment is expended on payroll for Louisiana residents employed in connection with a state-certified production, each investor shall be allowed an additional tax credit of 15% for Louisiana resident payroll. The additional 15% credit is only allowed on the first $3 million of a resident's payroll. Any amount above that shall be eligible for the 30% credit only. It must be expended on a natural person (not a loan-out) in order to qualify for the additional 15%.
How do I know if something is a Louisiana spend?
Services will qualify if performed in Louisiana. Goods will qualify if purchased through a source in Louisiana.
What is a source within the state?
A source is a physical nexus with at least one full-time employee and posted business hours.
I've earned this tax credit and have no Louisiana income tax liability. What do I do?
For productions that have earned tax credits on applications submitted on or after July 1, 2017, you can opt to transfer the credit to the Louisiana Department of Revenue, who will then issue you a check for 90% of the face value of the credits. In other words, for $1 worth of credits, the State will issue you a check for $0.90. (*the ultimate net will be 88% because LDR will collect a 2% transfer fee)
Must a certain percentage of crew be Louisiana residents?
No. However, Louisiana has a skilled and deep crew base and expenditures made on hiring Louisiana residents increases the potential tax credits that can be earned.
Are fuel purchases eligible for tax credits?
Yes. However, any taxes charged by the State or any local governing entity in Louisiana are ineligible and must be removed from qualifying expenditures. These amounts are subject to verification by the CPA.
Do fringes qualify?
What's the difference between LED, Office, OEID, and Louisiana Entertainment?
The Office of Entertainment Industry Development is a division of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. For ease of reading, this website may commonly refer to these entities as the Office, OEID, Louisiana Entertainment or LED.
Are payments made to loan-out companies subject to the $3 million salary limitation?
Are per diems eligible?
Are finance fees eligible?
No, unless paid to certain Louisiana companies, in which case fees may be allocated on a pro rate basis based on production activity occurring in and out of state.
How is a Louisiana resident defined?
A legal resident who is required to file a Louisiana resident individual income tax return is considered a Louisiana resident. The resident must sign a declaration of residency and provide supporting documentation for the production.
My spending in Louisiana started before receiving Initial Certification. Can some of these expenditures still be claimed?
The initial certification covers expenditures made 12 months prior to the date of application and 24 months after the date of initial certification.
What if I have not secured distribution yet?
We only require that there be a commercial multi-market distribution plan, not a distribution agreement in place.
Where can I get help with Fastlane?
What if I take a Louisiana crew to another state?
That is certainly permissible; however, credits can only be issued for the work performed directly in Louisiana.
Division Director, Film and Television