Tennessee Entertainment Commission launches new Incentive Program

Posted on: Tuesday - Apr 12, 2022

It pays to create here in Tennessee. Our state’s culture and industry have long cultivated masterpieces from musicians and filmmakers, and been a beacon for content creators from around the world. The Tennessee Entertainment Commission (TEC) is proud to support our creative class and thrilled to announce the launch of a new production incentive program.

The Tennessee Entertainment Commission, in partnership with the Department of Revenue and the Department of Economic and Community Development, is proud to announce a new Franchise and Excise (F&E) Tax Credit program. This program was created to advance the development of Tennessee’s growing 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 payroll expenses and apply for a point of purchase sales tax exemption certificate on non-payroll. Qualified Productions include scripted/unscripted television, feature films, video game development, animation, commercials and audio/visual post production.

The Franchise and Excise (F&E) Tax Credit is generated by 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% on resident and non-resident payroll expenses, with a 10% uplift on payroll expenses for Tennesseans living in economically distressed areas. The first $1 million in wages per qualified resident and non-resident position are eligible and the credit has a 15 year carry forward.

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% to 9.75% on all taxable goods or services and tangible personal property necessary to the Qualified Production.

These incentives reward musicians, professional filmmakers, television producers and video game developers for the entertainment they provide the community. The program creates a sustainable model for the industry, encouraging them to create and share their craft.

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

The financial incentives help mitigate the costs of resident and non-resident labor, material goods and property fees involved in production. The TEC is excited about this opportunity to attract more business services, talent and skilled labor to the state, and to build upon the strengths of Tennessee's growing creative class.

The program will help market the state while rewarding the hard-working, talented professionals in the entertainment industry. Let us support the making of your craft. Apply for a grant for your upcoming production project today.