What type of productions qualify?

Projects eligible for the tax credit are: live action or animated feature films, documentaries, television films, pilots or series, reality shows and webisodes. Projects NOT eligible include news shows, commercials, live broadcasts, sporting events, programs that solicit funds and digital media products.

In order to receive state approval for an incentive application, a production must, in the State’s sole discretion, reflect positively on the image of state of Utah.

  • In determining whether or not a production reflects positively on the image of the state of Utah, the Office and Board may take into consideration:
    • Whether and to what extent the motion picture promotes Utah as a tourist destination;
    • the overall strength and viability of the script of the production;
    • the industry reputation of the production or motion picture company;
    • the record of the motion picture company in matters of safety and responsible filmmaking; and
    • the existence of any legal action or the likelihood of any legal action in relation to either the production or the motion picture company;
    • general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of Utahns; and
    • any other factors related to the production or the motion picture company that may reasonably affect the image of the state of Utah.

The Office and Board may consider the relative merit of applications, and the need to reserve its allocations for future applications.

Factors that contribute to the relative merit will be weighed by the Utah Film Commission which include, but are not limited to:

  • Number of anticipated jobs in Utah;
  • Number of production days in Utah;
  • Length of employment for Utah cast and crew;
  • Local cast and crew wages;
  • Other economic development that the film contributes in the State of Utah
What type of of productions DON'T qualify?

The following productions types that DON’T qualify for the MPIP are: news shows, 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 MPIP.

How do I qualify for the 25% tax credit?

A 25% tax credit may be given, if your production:

  • Will spend at least $1 million in Utah and
  • 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.

Call our office for more details: 801.538.8740.

What is considered rural Utah?

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

What information is required for the application?

When filling out the MPIP Application you will need at least the following:

  • Company and contact information
  • Names of the producer(s), director(s), and principal cast
  • Production budget information
  • Number of anticipated Utah hires
  • Number of anticipated production days
  • Latest version of the script
  • References for the applying production company
Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee. That’s pretty awesome, right?

Do productions that have already started or completed production in Utah qualify?

No. A company must submit a completed/ UFC approved application prior to the start of principal photography to be considered for the MPIP.

How long does it take to find out if my project is approved?

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development Board (GOED) reviews projects once a month. Applications are due two weeks prior to those meetings – please review IMPORTANT DATES in the Tax Credit section. Our office will notify the applying company of the board’s decisions within 24 hours of the meeting. All film incentives must be approved by the GOED Board.

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

The cash rebate is a 20% rebate on qualified spend in Utah, with a minimum spend of $500,000 – $1 million in the state.

The tax credit has a 20% or 25% rebate (based on minimum requirements) on qualified spend, with a minimum spend of at least $ 1 million in the state. The tax credit also requires companies to file Utah state taxes to receive the rebate.

How do I receive the tax credit after production?

Once production has been completed you will receive the tax credit certificate from GOED after the following have been submitted and reviewed.

  • All Utah crew, vendors and locations have been paid
  • A final list of Utah crew, vendors and locations
  • A complete Utah expenditure report by a Utah C.P.A.
  • At least five on-set photographs that have clear permissions for use by our office.
  • Acknowledgement that the Utah Film Commission logo will appear in any screen credits.
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 through the state?

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.

May I count any expenses that occur in another state?

Nope, the purpose of the MPIP is to encourage the use of Utah as a site for production. Besides, why would you want to film anywhere else???

Do I need to have a Utah based production company in order to qualify?

No. It’s not necessary to register your company in Utah.  The Utah Tax Commission uses a federal tax ID number(s) to process the tax credit.

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 give us a call at 801-538-8740.

To whom is the actual incentive paid?

The incentive is paid 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 will be paid 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.

What does the screen credit requirement include?

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

I like details. Can I read your official statute?

Good for you! Here is a link to the current statute.