A guide to New York Film Tax Relief

People are attracted to New York for many reasons - the big city, the mountains, the Gold Coast, the beaches, the wealthy vacation spots in the Hamptons. However, film producers are drawn to New York for a different reason - film tax relief.

New York has by far the biggest film tax relief program in the country with over $420 million allocated each year in tax credits. Introduced in 2004 the program is designed to increase film production and post-production industry presence throughout the state in order to promote economic growth and the maintenance and creation of jobs.

Film Tax Credit Program

Through the Film Tax Credit Program film production companies can receive a fully refundable tax credit of up to 30% on qualified production expenses incurred in New York. An additional 5-10% credit may be available for films with production and post-production costs outside the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District. 


Qualifying film types include feature films, television series, relocated TV series, and television pilots and films.

The Film Production Tax Credit Program has two separate components: the Film Production Credit and the Post-Production Credit:

Film Production Credit

To qualify for Film Production Credit films must have a substantial portion of their project filmed, and production expenses incurred, in New York State.  Qualifying production expenses include the cost of set construction, crews, camera equipment, props, film stock, printing, and developing.


Eligibility varies dependent on the type of film company and budget and certain productions are subject to special rules. If either the film’s budget is over $15 million, or more than 5% of the production company is owned by a publicly traded entity, then 10% of the total shooting days must be at a qualifying production facility in New York. Television pilots are however exempt from this rule and are only required to shoot one day in a qualified production facility in NY to qualify but 75% of the pilot’s expenses must be related to the work done at the facility.

Film Post-production Credit

Projects where the majority of filming takes place outside of New York can still qualify for a Post-Production credit if their post-production work is carried out within New York State (NYS). Qualifying post-production costs include editing, sound design, special and visual effects.


Film production companies can qualify if they meet one or both of the following conditions:

  1. Visual Effects and Animation
    The costs incurred at the post-production facility in NYS must meet or exceed 20 per cent of the total visual effects/animation costs paid or $3 million.
  2. Post-Production
    Costs incurred at qualified facilities in NYS must meet or exceed 75 per cent of the total post-production costs paid/incurred

Note: For any one production you can only claim either production or post-production credit, not both.

More Information

These rules may seem a little complicated, but if followed correctly, can save you thousands of dollars in taxes.

Contact us today for more information on the film tax credit program, or to claim your tax relief.