Recently, I attended a talk to learn more about the CT state tax credits. It was hosted by the Fairfield County Bar Association and I was invited by a top notch attorney friend Mary-Kate at Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin and Kuriansky LLP. I was asked what brought a realtor to such an event, and the answer was simple. Any state initiative that can improve the job market for our residents needs to be fully understood and utilized by the public. I have read how the tax credits have been effective as an incentive that has brought many movie and TV productions to Stamford over the past 7 years and I wanted to learn more. The speakers at the event were Kevin Segalla from the CT Film Center, Ed Ruggiero from the CT office of Film, TV and Digital Media; and Mary Gambardella a partner at Wiggin and Dana. Here are a few takeaways:
CT offers a 30% tax credit (on a sliding scale) for all production, pre-production and post production expenses for qualified TV, Film and Digital Media productions. Productions must spend a minimum of $100,000 and the credit applies beyond film and TV to include interactive web sites (not retail) and audio projects. All in formation can be found at the Department of Economic and Community Development web site: http://www.ct.gov/ecd/cwp/view.asp?a=1097&Q=436466
There is also a real estate tax credit that applies to the creation of new buildings and the repurposing of old buildings for production. This credit goes up to 20% and there is a minimum spend requirement of $3M.
If your production is eligible for the credit but can not use the credit, you can sell the tax credit to another production. The CT Film Center has used these credits to help fund new productions and they have financed over $400M in film and digital media credits, as well as green building, renewable energy, historic, low-income housing and brownfield tax incentives.
Many employers in the entertainment/production space should review their employee classification practices and ensure compliance to the law. The US department of labor has been scrutinizing internship classifications. If your business hires interns makes sure they truly function as interns who are there for a learning experience and the work arrangement meets all Federal guidelines. Interns are not temporary or unpaid employees. If your classification practices are not in accordance with the law, you can be subject to back-pay and the payment of overtime. For more insight about this issue contact Mary Gambardella at 203-363-7662.
Have you had any experience with tax credits? Let me know.