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MEDIA Tax Credit


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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. 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. Each department has their own sets of rules and both have application fees. We provide information on the application process with the Montana Department of Revenue on the bottom of this page.

Legislation

House Bill 293 – The MEDIA Act

House Bill 340 – The MEDIA Act, Revised

 

Administrative Rules Governing the MEDIA Act for the Dept. of Commerce

8.119.301: Definitions

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

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.


Helpful Documents When Applying

Application Instructions    Application Instructions & Record Keeping Tips

These instructions assist you with applying, the process of certification with the Montana Film Office, tips on record keeping, and submission of costs.

Incentive CalculatorIncentive Calculator Estimator

Enter potential expenditures, labor costs, and incentive percentages and calculate a possible credit total.

MT SOS TipsMontana Secretary of State Filing Tips

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.

Underserved Counties & Montana Poverty Rate Map

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.

Montana Colleges & Universities

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.

Business Startup Checklist Business Startup Checklist

Steps to take when starting a Montana business.


How to Apply

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. If you need a PDF version of either application for planning purposes, please email Stacey Zyliak, Media Incentive & Grant Specialist, at szyliak@mt.gov.


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.

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