MEDIA Tax Credit
On July 1, 2019, the Montana Economic Development Industry Advancement (MEDIA) Act came into affect. It offers a 20% transferable income tax credit on production expenditures in the state with additional amounts that can increase the credit up to 35% of the production company’s base investment in the tax year. These per production, additional incentives include:
- 25% of compensation for MT resident crew
- 15% of compensation for non-MT resident crew
- 20% of above-the-line compensation (actor, director, producer, writer)
- 30% of compensation paid to a student enrolled in a MT college/university who works on the production for college credit
- 10% of payments to MT colleges/universities for stage, equipment, rentals, or location fees for filming on campus
- 10% of all in-studio facility/equipment expenditures that rents a studio for 20 days or more
- 5% of expenditures in an underserved county
- 5% for using “Filmed in Montana” screen credit logo
- 25% of post-production wages
Administering the MEDIA Act
The MEDIA Act transferrable tax credit is administered by two Montana State Agencies: The Department of Commerce/Film Office and the Department of Revenue. Each department has their own sets of rules and both have application fees.
House Bill 293 – The MEDIA Act
House Bill 340 – The MEDIA Act, Revised
Administrative Rules Governing the MEDIA Act for the Dept. of Commerce
8.119.302: Application for State Certification of Production
8.119.303: State Certification of Production
8.119.304: Application for State Certification of Production with Base Investment of Less Than $350,000 but Greater Than $50,000
8.119.305: State Certification of Production with Base Investment of Less Than $350,000 but Greater Than $50,000
8.119.306: State Certified Productions Eligible to Use the Montana Screen Credit
8.119.307: Revocation of State Certification
8.119.308: Application for State Certification of Postproduction Company
8.119.309: State Certification of Postproduction Company
Helpful Documents When Applying
7-10 days BEFORE applying, register your company with the Montana Secretary of State (SOS). Your online application will ask you to attach the MT SOS certification.
This map shows the underserved counties and poverty rate in Montana. Filming in these counties qualifies for claiming 5% of expenditures in an underserved county.
30% of compensation paid to students enrolled in these Montana colleges and universities can be applied to the tax incentive if they receive college credit for working on your production.
How to Apply
Productions must first apply for certification with the Department of Commerce/Film Office. Then, to claim the credit, productions will apply with the Department of Revenue. We provide information on the application process with the Montana Department of Revenue on the bottom of this page.
Productions must first apply for certification with the Department of Commerce/Film Office BEFORE any principal photography takes place. A complete application is the online application and a $500 application fee.
The Montana Film Office uses Submittable (cloud-based application manager) for applying to the MEDIA Act. Click the appropriate button (Production or Post-Production) below for applying. Then, pay the application fee online or mail in, see below.
Paying for the Application Fee
You can pay the $500 application fee online by clicking the button below. All major credit cards and ACH (e-checks) are accepted. There are processing fees associated with payment types that varies.
You may also send your payment to:
Montana Dept. of Commerce
301 S Park, Room 129
PO Box 200533
Helena, MT 59601
MT Department of Revenue
To claim the MEDIA tax credit, productions must submit a media tax credit application with the Montana Department of Revenue after they have completed principal photography. Productions will need to submit their Submission of Costs to the Department of Revenue within 60 days of principal photography (which includes wrap) if you would like to claim the credit in the year of production.
For more in-depth information on applying with the Department of Revenue, FAQs, and tax credit caps by calendar year, visit their site below.
Economic Impact of the Film Production Industry in Montana Report
Film production generates significant economic activity for their host communities, drawing out-of-town spending, generating jobs, and bolstering local businesses. Because of this potential boost to Montana local economies, the Montana State Legislature passed the Montana Economic Development Industry Advancement Act (MEDIA Act) in 2019 to provide an income tax incentive to attract film, television, and other media production to the State.
The Economic Impact of the Film Production Industry in Montana Report provides an analysis of the economic, fiscal, and societal impacts from film and television production in Montana and specifically evaluates the impacts associated with the MEDIA Act Tax Credit Program. Read the 2020 report below.