California Film and Television Tax Incentive – UPDATE

The California Film Commission is currently drafting regulations and other procedures to administer the state’s newly expanded film and TV tax credit program.

Specific details and application dates for the new program will be announced in early January.

In the meantime, please note that the application start date for the final installment of the expiring lottery program (“old program”) has been moved up two months, from June 1 to April 1.

Please visit the “Incentives” section of CFC’s website for an overview and comparison of the old and new programs.


1. Can I apply for the lottery (old program) and the new program with the same project?

Yes, the old and new programs are entirely separate. If your project is not selected in the lottery, you may submit it for the new program.

2. What if my project is on the current waitlist? Can I stay on the waitlist and apply for the April 2015 lottery and the new program?

The current waitlist (based on the 2014 lottery) will expire prior to the final lottery on April 1, 2015. Therefore, projects currently waitlisted may apply for the final lottery allocation. If your project is not selected during the April 1 lottery, you may subsequently apply for the new tax credit program.

3. I need to start shooting before July 1. Can I still apply for either program?

No. Under both programs, productions cannot begin principal photography prior to July 1, 2015 (the earliest date a Credit Allocation Letter can be issued). Prep may occur prior to July 1, but production spending will not qualify until that date.

4. When can I apply for the old and/or new program?

Applications for the final lottery (old program) will be accepted on April 1, 2015. Specific dates for the start of the new program’s application period will be announced in early January. The new program application period target is May 2015 for Television Series, MOWs, Relocating Television Series and Pilots only; and later in the summer for features and indie projects. Stay tuned to future CFC production updates for additional details.

5. I am shooting my pilot before the application date for the new program (note that pilots do not qualify for the old program). Does this affect my eligibility to apply for the series?

No, a pilot is a separate type of qualified production under the new program, and filming the pilot in-state does not disqualify the production from applying as a “new” series tax credit based on the pilot.

The California Film Commission (CFC) enhances California’s status as the leader in motion picture, television and commercial production.

A one-stop office for filmmakers, the Commission supports productions of all sizes and budgets. In addition to managing the Film & Television Tax Credit program, services include an extensive digital location library, free online permitting, low cost use of state properties as shooting locations, and production assistance.

7080 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 900

Hollywood, CA 90028



(c) 2014

California Film Commission


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