The California Film Commission administers the Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 which provides tax credits based on qualified expenditures for eligible productions that are produced in California. The $1.55 billion program runs for 5 years, with a sunset date of June 30, 2020. Each fiscal year – July 1 to June 30 – the $330-million funding is categorized in: TV Projects, Relocating TV, Indie Features, and Non-Indie Features.
25%Non-Transferable Tax Credit: Relocating Television Series (any episode length) that filmed its most recent season (minimum 6 episodes) outside California. $1 million minimum budget per episode. Credit is reduced to 20% after the first season filmed in California.
25% Transferable Tax Credit: Independent Films: $1 million minimum budget. Credits apply only to the first $10 million of qualified expenditures.
20% Non-Transferable Tax Credit: Feature Film: $1 million minimum budget. Credit allocation applies only to the first $100 million in qualified expenditures, plus uplifts. Movies-of-the-Week and Miniseries: $500,000 minimum budget. New television series for any distribution outlet: $1 million minimum budget per episode (at least 40 minutes per episode, scripted only). TV Pilots: $1 million minimum budget (at least 40 minutes).
5%Credit Uplift: Projects eligible for a 20% tax credit may receive an additional 5% credit for the following expenditures: Out-of-Zone Filming: Expenditures relating to original photography and incurred outside the 30-Mile Studio Zone (pre-production through strike). Eligible expenditures include qualified wages paid for services performed outside the Zone, and expenditures purchased or leased and used outside the Zone. Music Scoring and Music Track Recording by musicians. Visual Effects: To qualify, visual effects work must represent at least 75% of the VFX budget or a minimum of $10 million in qualified VFX expenditures incurred in California.
Note: The maximum credit a production can earn is 25%.