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Production Alert: Upcoming Tax Credit Application Window


The California Film Comission‘s has released information on their upcoming application window (Period 4): January 2-13, 2017.


1. Feature Films (Non-Transferable Tax Credit)

  • $85 million available (additional funds may become available.)
  • Credit will apply to a maximum qualified spend of $100 million (no total budget cap)

2. Independent Films* (Transferable Tax Credit)

  • $6 million available (additional funds may become available.)
  • Credit will apply to a maximum qualified spend of $10 million (no total budget cap)

* Note: “Independent film” means a production of a film with a running time of at least seventy-five (75) minutes intended for commercial distribution to a motion picture theater, directly to the home video market, directly to television, or via the internet. An independent film shall have a minimum budget of one million dollars ($1,000,000) and be produced by a company that is not publicly traded and a publicly traded company does not own, directly or indirectly, more than 25% of the producing company.
Jobs Ratio Ranking 

Applications are ranked within categories (Indie Film vs. other Indie Film) based upon their “Jobs Ratio” score.

For historical reference only, below are the lowest adjusted jobs ratios for the projects that received a reservation of credits during the previous application period for indie and non-indie feature film projects:

Independent Feature Film: 3.87207

Non-Independent Feature Film: 3.81516

The jobs ratio numbers quoted above are based on applications received during the prior application period. These numbers should not be relied upon as a guaranteed jobs ratio minimum in future application periods. Applicants are measured against their specific applicant pool and as such, each jobs ratio minimum is specific to those types of productions during a specific allocation period.

Projects that rank in the top 200% (double the number of projects for which funding is available) will be notified by January 16, 2017 to submit Phase II documents. Credit Allocation Letters will be issued on February 13, 2017 – budgets should reflect qualified expenditures on or after February 13, 2017.

Be sure to download the new Jobs Ratio Calculator.  This tool is available to assist you in determining your Jobs Ratio.


Online Application 

The portal will go live Monday, January 2, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

Applicants should begin to prepare their budget and materials early. You will need a completed and tagged budget in order to fill out the application.

Be sure to carefully read the Budget/Tagging Instructions so that you can accurately tag your budget. Pay close attention to box rentals and car allowances. Non-Independents: Note that the methodology and tagging to determine out of zone “uplifts” have been modified.

Finally, applicants should prepare all materials listed in the Checklist as you will be required to submit these within three days if your application is selected.

Tax Credit Program Tutorials for Independents

Attention Independent Film Applicants!

The California Film Commission now offers tutorials to better assist indie producers interested in applying to the Tax Credit Program. The tutorials below cover indie-specific information regarding Tax Credit Program 2.0 guidelines, eligibility requirements, deadlines, required documentation, and qualified expenditures. In addition, the video tutorials explore the application portal and data needed in order to successfully submit an application. Lastly, two tutorials are available on how to accurately tag qualified and non-qualified expenditures using Movie Magic Budget and Showbiz Budgeting programs.


General Program Orientation

How to Apply

How to tag budget in Movie Magic

How to tag budget in Showbiz Budgeting


Online Resources

The California Film Commission website provides informational documents listed below to assist tax credit applicants during the application process. Applicants are strongly advised to review each document prior to project budgeting and scheduling.
Budget, Tagging, & Tracking Tips
Qualified Expenditure Charts
Jobs Ratio Calculator
Frequently Asked Questions

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