State unveils new tax credit program for entertainment projects

The state Entertainment Commission and the Departement of Economic and Community Development are launching a new tax credit program to promote projects in Tennessee.

Here’s the full release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Entertainment Commission (TEC), in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Revenue and Department of Economic and Community Development, announced today a new franchise and excise (F&E) tax credit program aimed to advance Tennessee’s entertainment industry by promoting job creation and economic development.

Companies approved as a qualified production can apply for a tax credit generated through resident and non-resident Tennessee payroll expenses and apply for a point of purchase sales tax exemption certificate on non-payroll expenses. Qualified productions include scripted and unscripted television, feature films, video game development, animation, commercials and audio/visual postproduction.

“Tennessee is home to one of the most robust entertainment industries in the world, and we strive to provide the resources needed for our state to build upon this momentum,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “We are proud to partner with the Department of Revenue and Tennessee Entertainment Commission and look forward to seeing how this new program will further strengthen our state’s entertainment footprint while creating additional jobs for Tennesseans.”

The F&E tax credit is generated by Tennessee payroll expenditures for all above-the-line and below-the-line talent services being performed in the state on a qualified production. The standard credit generates up to 40 percent on resident and non-resident payroll expenses, with a 10 percent uplift on payroll expenses for Tennesseans living in economically distressed areas.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Tennessee Entertainment Commission, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and the entertainment industry to make this incentive a success,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “Through this collaboration, we are happy to support the continued growth of Tennessee’s entertainment industry.”

In addition to the tax credit, the program offers a point of purchase sales and use tax exemption on qualified goods and services providing an immediate and usable benefit to the taxpayer. This point of purchase sales tax exemption generates a savings of 9.25 percent to 9.75 percent on all taxable goods or services and tangible personal property necessary to the qualified production.

The program creates a sustainable model for the industry, encouraging musicians, professional filmmakers, television producers and video game developers to create and share their craft. The F&E tax credit program will also help market the state while supporting the talented professionals in the entertainment industry.

“Incentives play a pivotal role in the development of talent, workforce and infrastructure in the entertainment industry,” TEC Executive Director Bob Raines said. “The Tennessee Entertainment Commission continues to work toward dedicated and intentional strategies that reinforce and retain our creative class.”

TEC promotes and facilitates economic development of the entertainment industry through the recruitment of business to Tennessee. Since 2017, TEC has assisted more than 1,100 production projects, and nearly 10,000 Tennessee workers have been hired as a result of these projects.

To learn more about the new F&E tax credit program, visit tnentertainment.com/film/incentives/fe-incentive.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. Like us on Facebook. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.