Effective December 18, 2019, New York State has amended its Tax Law to provide a new franchise tax and personal income tax credit for minority (as defined in Section 310(8) of the New York State Executive Law, which can be found here) and women television writers' and directors' fees and salaries. Applicable to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, the credit will be available to qualified film production companies, qualified independent film production companies and sole proprietors (or members of a partnership) that are qualified film production companies or qualified independent film production companies.
The amount of the credit will be equal to 30% of qualified television writers' and directors' fees and salaries paid or incurred in the production of a “qualified film” (defined as a “television film, television pilot and/or each episode of a television series, regardless of the medium by means of which the film, pilot or episode is created or conveyed”), but the credit may not exceed (1) $50,000 for the fees and salaries claimed for the employment of any one writer or director in connection with the production of a single television pilot or episode of a television series, or (2) $150,000 for the fees and salaries claimed for the employment of any one writer or director. The credit is allowable for the tax year in which production of the qualified film is completed. The maximum aggregate amount of tax credits available under this program in any single calendar year is $5 million and will be allocated by the NYS Department of Economic Development in order of priority based on application filing dates. If the total amount of credits applied for in any particular year exceeds the aggregate amount of credits allowable for such year, the excess will be treated as having been applied for on the first day of the following year.
To be qualified, a writer must report to work regularly in a “writers room” (defined as a “a room or physical location where writers employed by a qualified film production company or qualified independent film production company write or revise literary materials utilized in a qualified film located in New York”), and a director must be an individual who “would be classified as a director under the basic agreement in place between the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Director's Guild of America and who is a resident of New York.” Salaries or fees paid to any writer or director who is a profit participant in a qualified film will not be eligible for the credit.