800.453.8824
FILM INCENTIVE FAQ
What type of productions qualify?

Projects eligible for the film incentive are:

  • Live action or animated feature films
  • Documentaries
  • Television films
  • Pilots or series
  • Webisodes
What type of of productions DON'T qualify?

The following production types do not qualify for a Utah Film Incentive:

  • News shows
  • Reality television series
  • Commercials
  • Live broadcasts
  • Sporting events
  • Programs that solicit funds
  • Digital media products
  • Productions that have already started or completed principal photography in the state aren’t eligible to apply for the film incentive
Do I need to have a Utah based production company in order to qualify?

No, you don’t have to be a Utah based production company.

How do I qualify for the 25% incentive?

A 25% incentive may be given, if your production:

  • Will spend at least $1 million in Utah
  • Hires 75% Utah residents for cast & crew (excluding extras and five principal cast members) or 75% of dollars left in the state (by the production) are spent in rural Utah
How do I apply for an incentive?

You must contact the office 800-453-8824 to receive a username and password in order to complete an electronic application.

What information is required for the application?

You will complete an electronic application that will consist of the following information:

  • Production company information
  • Legal contact information
  • Project information including title, synopsis, type of project
  • Budget (required attachment) that includes the complete line item budget, the complete budget to be spent in Utah, and the incentive requested
  • Financing Type ( proof of financing at 75% is a required attachment)
  • Description of the distribution plan
  • Projected production totals including productions dates, cast and crew hires and wages
Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee.

When should productions apply?

A company’s application must be received prior to the start of principal photography to be considered for a film incentive.

What factors contribute to project approval?

This program is not administered on a first- come, first- served basis. The Office and Board may consider the relative merit of applications, and the need to reserve its allocations for future applications. Factors include:

  • Number of anticipated jobs in Utah
  • Number of production days in Utah
  • Local cast and crew wages
  • Ability to highlight Utah as a tourist destination
  • The extent that the project reflects positively on the state of Utah
  • Other economic factors that may contribute to the state of Utah

To read the administrative rules of this program click here.

How will I know if my application was accepted?

We will notify you within 30 days of the acceptance or denial of your application.

What's the difference between the tax credit and the cash rebate?

A cash rebate is a check issued directly to the production company that was approved for the film incentive. A tax credit is a certificate issued to the production company to be utilized on a Utah tax return.

Can I pick cash or tax credit for my incentive?

No, the type of incentive is determined by the Utah Film Commission based on a number of factors.

What kind of expenses qualify for the incentive?

In general, any direct production expenditures made (per approved project) in Utah that are subject to Utah state taxes qualify. Examples are Utah goods & services purchased through a business registered in Utah, Utah resident wages & taxes, nonresident per-diems & income tax. For more details please review the Agreed Upon Procedures.

May I count any expenses that occur in another state?

No, the purpose of the film incentive is to encourage Utah as a site for production and economic impact.

How do I receive my incentive?

Once you have completed production in Utah log in to your online portal and  submit all required documentation as described in the Agreed Upon Procedures.

How long does it take to receive my incentive?

Once you have submitted your final request you should receive it in 30 days or less.

To whom is the actual incentive paid?

The incentive, cash or credit, is issued to the entity(company, LLC, C-Corp, etc.) that enters into contract with the State of Utah.

As it pertains to the tax credit only, if a LLC has multiple members, then credit must be passed to each owner. Each member must file taxes individually to receive the appropriate portion of the tax credit.*

*Please note that for Incentive Tax Credits the entity structure chosen for Federal filing purposes determines which State return is required. C Corporations would receive their credit at the corporate level whereas pass through entities (ie Sub S corporations, partnerships) would be required to pass through their credit and refund to their shareholders. Refunds cannot be issued to pass through entities.

Who is considered a Utah resident?

Utah Resident” means that the individual files a Utah Residential tax return.

What is considered rural Utah?

Rural Utah is any county except Davis, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber.

What is the screen credit requirement?

All projects with an end crawl must include an acknowledgement of the state of Utah. This includes both a “filmed on location”, as well as the Utah Film Commission logo. A screen shot of the logo in the end credits must be submitted once the project is finished.

Does Utah have a Sales and Use Tax exemption for productions?

Yes. The Sales and Use Tax Exemption allows film, television and video productions to take a sales tax exemption at the point of sale on machinery and equipment. The exemption does not apply for still photography. Download the tax exemption certificate TC-721 from the Utah State Tax Commission.

Is there an available lodging exemption?

Yes. Utah offers a Transient Room Tax (TRT) Exemption. Accommodation charges for stays of 30 consecutive days or longer are exempt from sales and use tax and all sales-related taxes. Please review Publication 56 from the Utah State Tax Commision.

The Utah Valley Film Commission offers its own hotel room incentive to qualified applicants who utilize Utah Valley hotels.

Can I read your official statute?

Here is a link to the current statute.

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