Only production companies are eligible to apply for the Film Production Tax Credit. Applicants need to meet these criteria to apply for a Credit Allocation Certificate:
- Apply at least 30 days but not more than 90 days prior to beginning principal photography in Minnesota
- Plan to expend a minimum of $1,000,000 in eligible expenses during the taxable year
- Employ Minnesota residents to the extent practicable
- Be able to submit proof that the project is at least 75% funded
- Agree to promote Minnesota by visibly displaying a static or animated logo approved by DEED lasting at least five seconds in the end credits before the below-the-line crew crawl for the life of the project
- Remain in good business standing with the Secretary of State of Minnesota
- Be able to obtain and submit a tax clearance statement from the Minnesota Department of Revenue
Qualified project types include:
- Feature film
- Television or internet pilot
- Music video
- Television commercial
Ineligible projects include but are not limited to:
- News, current events, public programming, or programs that include weather or market reports
- Talk shows
- A sports event or sports activity
- One-time production related to a national event (e.g. sporting or national political event)
- Contests and game shows
- Gala presentation or awards show
- Finished production that solicits funds
- Home shopping programming
- Local or regional television programming
- Political issue or advocacy ads
- Projects featuring candidates currently running for political office in Minnesota
- Branded content
- Video games
- Student films
- Production for which the production company is required under U. S. Code title 18, section 2257, to maintain records with respect to a performer portrayed in a single-media or multimedia program
Applicants are required spend a minimum of $1,000,000 on eligible expenses during the taxable year in which it will seek a tax credit. The dollar amount of the tax credit for an eligible project is based on the dollar amount of qualified expenses incurred in Minnesota and paid to a Minnesota company*.
Eligible expenses include:
- Direct costs of production incurred in and paid to a Minnesota company including:
- Location expenses and permitting fees
- Health and safety equipment and testing fees
- Studio and soundstage rental
- Sets, props, and wardrobe including construction materials, purchases, box rental, kit fee, and rentals
- Equipment rental including camera, grip, lighting and expendables, generators, and fuel used and consumed in generators
- Food and catering including craft service, working meals, and crew meals. Alcoholic beverages are excluded and itemized receipts are required.
- Transportation and parking including intrastate travel by airplane, taxicab, train, bus, mileage reimbursements, leased vehicles, and fuel used and consumed in leased vehicles
- Editing and related post production expenses including legal fees relating to post production, labor contracts, and licensing of music
- Production insurance
- Production-related services, such as legal, audit, accounting, and payroll processing fees incurred in and paid to a Minnesota company
- Below the line compensation paid to a resident of Minnesota employed in the production of a film (uncapped)
- Above the line compensation paid to a resident of Minnesota employed in the production of a film. Eligible expense paid to a resident producer or director is capped at the first $500,000 in wages, provided that required Minnesota withholding taxes are remitted. Individuals that hold more than one position are only eligible once
- Above the line compensation paid to one non-resident producer, one non-resident director, and non-resident principal acting talent is eligible. Eligible expense is capped at the first $500,000 in wages for each individual in those roles, provided that required Minnesota withholding taxes are remitted. Individuals that hold more than one position are only eligible once.
- Per Diem and housing allowances paid to Minnesota residents and non-residents while working in Minnesota. Payments made in cash are not eligible.
- Short term production office rental in Minnesota, utilities used and consumed at the production office, production office equipment rental, and production office supplies paid to a Minnesota company.
- Digital media and storage devices and related processing including film transfer and dailies paid to a Minnesota company.
Ineligible expenses include but are not limited to:
- Alcohol and tobacco including props and consumables
- Development, marketing, and business set up fees
- Permanent office space including utilities, long term equipment rental, long term vehicle leasing
- Unpaid invoices
- Internal invoices including but not limited to equipment rental or studio space
- Fuel for personal vehicles
- Interstate travel by airplane, taxicab, train, or bus
- Online purchases
- Capital equipment purchases with the exception of portable hard drives
- Purchases sourced outside of Minnesota
- Wrap parties, gifts, recreation and entertainment
- Festival submission fees or related costs
- Expenses relating to illegal activities including citations, fines, or towing fees
- Damage or replacement fees due to accident, loss, theft or misuse
- Costs incurred in connection with the sale or assignment of the tax credit
*A Minnesota company is defined as a permanent business that has a physical address and is located in Minnesota, conducts business in Minnesota, and files a Minnesota tax return. The company must be registered and in good standing with the Secretary of State of Minnesota.
Applying for a Film Production Tax Credit is a multiple step process. The applicant must apply for and receive a Credit Allocation Certificate prior to beginning principal photography. Any expense incurred prior to issuance of a Credit Allocation Certificate are deemed ineligible.
Step one: Pre-application consultation
Applicants need to schedule and participate in a pre-application consultation with Minnesota Film and TV. Schedule an appointment by calling 612-767-0095 or email at email@example.com.
Step two: Apply for a Credit Allocation Certificate
Credit Allocation Certificates are issued for a specific tax year. If the applicant's project will not be completed in one tax year, an application for each tax year must be submitted. The $1,000,000 minimum spend requirement must be met for each application to receive a Credit Allocation Certificate for the respective tax year. No application fee is required. Applicants that submit an incomplete application will have the opportunity to correct the application; however, the application will not be given first-come, first-served priority until complete.
Film Production Tax Credit Applications are submitted online.
- Before starting the application, read the Application Guide to ensure that you have the required information and the uploadable files needed.
Here's what happens next:
- You will receive confirmation of your online submission.
- If we need additional information, we will contact you; otherwise we will send you a Credit Allocation Certificate approval or denial email within 30 days.
Step three: Submit Project Start Certification Form
The applicant's project shall begin at the agreed upon project start date contained within the Credit Allocation Certificate approval notice. Failure to begin the project on time may result in revocation of the Credit Allocation Certificate. Credit Allocation Certificates that have been revoked are returned to the available credit pool. An applicant that had their Credit Allocation Certificate revoked may reapply; this application will be evaluated as a new application without priority. Projects that are delayed must notify the Program Administrator and may request one 30-day extension by written request.
On the start date of the project, submit a Project Start Certification Form online along with a call sheet. A sample call sheet template is available.
Here's what happens next:
- You will receive confirmation of your submission.
Step four: Submit Audit Report
Within 30 days of project completion, or January 31 of the following tax year (of an Allocation Certificate), whichever is earliest, the applicant shall commission an independent audit. The applicant shall submit a report prepared by an independent certified public accountant licensed in the state of Minnesota to verify the amount of eligible production costs related to the project. This report shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and paid for by the production company. Provide the Audit Guide and Agreed Upon Procedures and Final Production and Economic Impact Report to your auditor at the time of engagement.
Submit the auditor's report and Final Production and Economic Impact Report online within 30 days of the audit report completion date.
Here's what happens next:
- We will review the auditor's report. If we need additional information, we will contact you; otherwise we will issue a Tax Credit Certificate within 60 days. The Tax Credit Certificate will not exceed the Allocation Certificate amount regardless of actual eligible expenditures.
Step five: Claim or assign the credit
The recipient of a Tax Credit Certificate claims the credit upon filing a Minnesota income tax return for the year the eligible expenses were incurred.
The recipient of a Tax Credit Certificate may, in the alternative, assign the certificate to another taxpayer before any amount of the credit is claimed. An assignment is not valid unless the assignee files an assignment within 30 days of the date the assignment is made. A confirmation letter will be issued after the administering agency has processed the assignment.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue oversees the assignment and claiming of credits. For questions on claiming the credit, visit www.revenue.state.mn.us/film-production-credit or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the list of projects the Film Production Tax Credit is benefiting.
View our Frequently Asked Questions.
For questions about applying, eligible expenditures, Credit Allocation Certificates, or Tax Credit Certificates contact:
For questions about assigning or claiming the credit, contact the Minnesota Department of Revenue at:
For assistance or questions about how the state may assist you in bringing your project to Minnesota, contact Minnesota Film and TV at:
Other Program Information and Forms
Approved Project Logos
Industry Resources and Incentives
Minnesota Production Directory
Minnesota Film and TV is a non-profit film commission that advances Minnesota's economy and enhances its robust cultural environment by promoting and supporting the state's production industry. This organization is proudly supported by DEED and serves as the state's first point of contact for film and film related economic development activity.
Minnesota Film and TV
PO Box 18296
Minneapolis, MN 55418
The Upper Midwest Film Office is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports film production in the Northeast region of Minnesota. This organization is proudly supported by DEED and is a valuable regional partner promoting film and film related economic development activity.
Upper Midwest Film Office
The State-wide Film Production Jobs Rebate Program (Minnesota Production Rebate) provides a reimbursement of up to 25% of production and post costs for qualifying Feature Film, Documentary, Music Video, National Television Program or Series, Television Pilot, TV Commercial, Internet and Post Production Only projects. This program may not be used concurrently with the Film Production Tax Credit Program and is administered by Minnesota Film and TV.
Minnesota Production Rebate
The MN Iron Range Film & TV Production Incentive provides a reimbursement of up to 20% of eligible expenses that originate within the Iron Range service area. This regional incentive program is administered by the Upper Midwest Film Office and may be used concurrently with the Film Production Tax Credit Program.
MN Iron Range Film & TV Production Incentive
The St. Louis County Film Production Incentive Program provides a reimbursement of up to 25% of production and post costs for film, television, episodic and commercial content projects that are spent in St. Louis County. This program is funded by St. Louis County and administered by the Upper Midwest Film Office and may be used concurrently with the Film Production Tax Credit Program.
St. Louis County Film Production Incentive Program
The City of Duluth Production Incentive Program provides a reimbursement of up to 25% of production and post costs for film, television, episodic and commercial content projects that are spent in the City of Duluth. This program is funded by the City of Duluth and administered by the Upper Midwest Film Office and may be used concurrently with the Film Production Tax Credit Program and other local incentives.
City of Duluth Film Production Incentive Program
The Shamrock Film Incentive Program provides a 15% reimbursement up to $7,500 per production for qualified costs incurred in the City of Maple Lake. This program is administered by the City of Maple Lake and may be used concurrently with the Film Production Tax Credit Program.
Shamrock Film Incentive Program