25% to 30% Refundable Film Production Tax Credit
An additional 5% applies to qualifying productions*
Thank you for considering New Mexico to produce your project. Our competitive film credit, awe-inspiring locations and professional crew will assist you in making a cost-effective, high-quality project.
NOTE: Program amendments were passed in SB565 during the regular 2015 NM Legislative Session.
The bill went into effect June 19, 2015. Summaries of the amendments are listed at the bottom of this page and incoporated in this section of the website.
Per statute, if your audiovisual project is intended for commercial exploitation and exhibition, it is eligible to receive a 25% refundable tax credit on direct and post-production expenditures rendered in-state and subject to state taxation. Examples of eligible productions are listed here. Since 2013, an additional 5% credit, for a total of 30%, may apply towards either (1) direct production expenditures for qualifying television series; or (2) payments to off-camera residents for services during production in New Mexico if a production utilizes a qualifying production facility for a minimum of 10 or 15 days of principal photography. (Days required are determined by total NM budget.)
There is no minimum budget or spend requirement to participate. And New Mexico does not require submission of a distribution plan from the production company to take advantage of the refundable credit. There is no application fee and no pre-qualification. To begin the process, only a registration form and tax agreement is submitted prior to principal photography. New Mexico’s direct qualifying expenditures include, but are not limited to, resident payroll (fringes included), nonresident per diem, rentals/expendables from vendors with local physical presence, location fees, and payments to nonresident performing artists. A performing artist with a management company (or loan out) qualifies through a personal business service (or “super loan out,”) for up to a $5 million tax credit when withholding and Gross Receipts Tax is deducted and remitted. Wages for employed actors will also qualify. Payments for post-production services may also qualify when those services are also rendered in New Mexico and are subject to state taxation. Productions may also qualify payments to a limited number of Nonresident Crew (BTL/off-camera) at a 15% credit.
After production, or after each tax year in which production expenditures occur for the eligible project, the tax application is submitted to the NM Film Office. Then, the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department will request ledgers and backup to conduct an internal review of the qualifying expenditures, free of charge, to determine the project’s approved claim amount (a 5 to 6 month process). As this is a fully refundable tax credit, the company files their state tax (or informational) return after the close of their taxable year to receive the check or deposit. The filing entity does not have to be based in NM (or have state tax liability) to file a return and receive the refund. If the company does have tax liability in NM, that is subtracted from the credit. For a project that crosses taxable years, a tax application is submitted for each year in which expenditures occurred either after the last qualifying expenditure is made in that tax year or together, in the same submission, at the end of the project. A production has one year from the date when the last qualifying expenditure was booked in a given tax year to submit their tax application(s) to the state for the project. Review the step by step process as outlined on the NM Tax Credit in Ten Steps.
A credit claim of less than $2 million per taxable year will be paid out immediately upon authorization of the filed tax return. A credit claim of $2 to$5 million will be paid out in two payments: one immediately upon authorization of the filed return and the second twelve months later. A tax credit of $5 million or more will be paid in three installments and requires an external audit by a CPA firm registered and licensed to practice in New Mexico.
New Mexico allows up to $50 million to be expended each fiscal year(July 1 - June 30) on authorized credit claims. If the $50 million has been expended in a given year, your company will still receive the credit; however, your (first) authorized claim will be paid at the beginning of the upcoming fiscal year (July 1).
For additional details, please view the links in the drop down under "Refundable Tax Credit" on the side menu and do not hesitate to contact us directly at 505-476-5600. We look forward to assisting you with your project.
Nick Maniatis, Director
New Mexico State Film Office