Welcome to Central Louisiana! With expansive and
diverse film locations available, you will discover just how Central Louisiana can provide to you a "look" that can be found anywhere in the USA and across the Globe.
Known as "The Other Louisiana" for our non-Louisiana locations, we offer TAX CREDITS of up to 35% as well as the following:
*Free Location Scouting
*Fast Tracking of Governmental Permitting
*Complimentary Casting Calls
*Production Support Services
*Reduced Crew Lodging Rates
Download: Filming Overview, Filming Application
Thanks for considering CENLA for your filming needs. Feel free to fill out the form below and we will contact you with more information. We look forward to working with you soon!
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Central Louisiana In Film; Alexandria/Pineville CVB
Fuel purchases made in Louisiana will be eligible for tax credits, subject to a reduction of 0.20 cents per gallon for payment of state sales tax which is a non-qualifying expenditure under Act 478. For example, if a production purchases 100 gallons of gas @ $2.50 per gallon for a total of $250.00, it must deduct $20 (100 gallons x 0.20 cpg), leaving a net amount of $230 eligible for tax credits.
Can the immediate writeoffs be taken in more than one year?
Yes, if an election is made to use the incentive, the immediate deduction takes place in the year the expenditure is incurred. Therefore, if production expenditures are incurred in more than one year, the immediate tax deduction will be taken in more than one year.
In order for Insurance premiums to qualify as an expenditure for the purposes of earning Louisiana Motion Picture Production tax credits, the insurance company must have a physical office in Louisiana, be duly licensed to write insurance in Louisiana and any premiums collected must be subject to the Louisiana insurance premium tax.Only the amounts collected and subject to Louisiana taxes will qualify.
Does "local spend" include bond fees and per diems?
Does local spend include foreigners working in Louisiana? The 30% credit includes the entire spend on payroll (above and below the line) regardless of where the cast or crew are domiciled. To earn an additional 5% on local hire payroll, that labor must be a resident of Louisiana (which is defined as a person with permanent residence in Louisiana for at least six months of the year).
Will Louisiana run out of funds for the incentive program?
Services will qualify if performed in Louisiana.Goods will qualify if purchased through a source in Louisiana. A source is a physical nexus with at least one full time employee. Additionally, if a good is obtained through a production services company, there must be a mark-up on the price and state sales and/or use tax charged to the production.
A tax credit can be applied toward Louisiana state income tax.Since most motion picture investors do not have Louisiana tax liability, the credit can not be personally utilized.This is why the tax credit is fully transferable.Anyone may purchase the tax credit.Generally, tax credit brokers purchase a motion picture project's earned tax credits.
Any person domiciled in the state of Louisiana and any other person who maintains a permanent place of abode within the state and spends in the aggregate more than six months of each year within the state is considered a Louisiana resident.
How long do I have to start production once I receive initial certification?
Like other tax issues, producers should consult with their professional tax advisors on any issues related to this new Federal tax incentive. In light of the new legislation, the Treasury and IRS may revise their temporary regulations, which may come in the form of Notices and Regulations. A number of groups that worked on this important legislative change are expected to continue working with the Treasury Department and the IRS to ensure the incentive fulfills its objective and provides the industry with meaningful tax relief.
I heard the credits are going to sunset. Is that true?
Location spend includes pre-production, production, post-production expenditures directly incurred in Louisiana that are used in a state-certified production; including without limitation expenses such as above-the-line and below-the-line expenses, equipment rental & purchases, travel, props, location fees, payroll, editing, and sound mixing.
Must a certain percentage of crew be Louisiana residents?
Money that is spent outside of Louisiana or expenditures that are indirect or not production-related do not qualify for the tax credit. For example, money spent renting a Ferrari in Louisiana as a prop for a production is acceptable. The indirect costs of buying a Ferrari, which clearly has value outside of the production, will not qualify. Expenditures from a "pass through" or company with no Louisiana resident employees and/or physical address that does not maintain actual office hours will not qualify. Also, your application fee and costs for transferring credits or marketing and distribution expenditures.
What does not qualify for the additional 5% credit?
Only money spent on your production costs within the borders of the state of Louisiana will qualify for the 30% tax credit. That includes production payroll for residents and non-residents alike; as long as it’s for work performed in Louisiana. Yes, even your audit fees can now qualify. The law gives specific examples of acceptable production expenditures:
Act 478 gives some specific examples of acceptable production expenditures" means preproduction, production, and postproduction expenditures directly incurred in this state that are directly used in a state-certified production, including without limitation the following: set construction and operation; wardrobes, make-up, accessories, and related services; costs associated with photography and sound synchronization, lighting, and related services and materials; editing and related services; rental of facilities and equipment; leasing of vehicles; costs of food and lodging; digital or tape editing, film processing, transfer of film to tape or digital format, sound mixing, special and visual effects; total aggregate payroll; music, if performed, composed, or recorded by a Louisiana musician, or released or published by a Louisiana-domiciled and headquartered company; airfare, if purchased through a Louisiana-based travel agency or travel company; insurance costs or bonding, if purchased through a Louisiana-based insurance agency; or other similar production expenditures as determined by rule.
To the extent that base investment is expended on payroll for Louisiana residents employed in connection with a state-certified production, each investor shall be allowed an additional tax credit of 5% for payroll. According to Act 478, "Payroll" shall include all salary, wages, and other compensation including related benefits sourced or apportioned to Louisiana.However, if the payroll to any one person exceeds one million dollars, this additional credit shall exclude any salary for that person that exceeds one million dollars.
Examples may include; entities with common ownership and/or control; an enterprise and its principal owners, management, or members of their immediate families. For further guidance see SAS No. 45 and AU Sec. 334 on related parties.
Transactions between related parties commonly occur in the normal course of business. However, related parties can execute transactions that may mask their economic substance, therefore generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) provide guidance on procedures that should be considered by the auditor to satisfy himself or herself that such relationships and material transactions are properly accounted for and adequately disclosed in the financial statements.
How can the auditor verify the economic substance over the form?
This is a complex issue requiring a careful analysis by the auditor on a case by case basis. See illustrative example of auditor’s notes below:
ABC Motion Picture Production Company, LLC (ABC) is owned and managed by Alison Avery (AA), Bob Brown (BB) and Cal Collins (CC).
Dirk Daniels (DD) is the son of Alison Avery.
ABC pays DD an executive producer fee of $300,000 for his work on the state certified production.
Because AA is an owner and manager of ABC, and DD is her son, the executive producer agreement is a related party transaction.
A Contract between ABC and DD dated 7/1/10 was reviewed, detailed the executive producer services to be provided and supports the $300,000 fee – and it is either attached as a supplement or is available upon request.
ABC noted the $300,000 as an expense on their books and issued a corresponding W2/1099 to DD, and DD’s tax return verified the income was reported– pertinent documents are either attached as a supplement or are available upon request.
The $300,000 fee represents approximately 10% of the budget, which seems reasonable and is in line with industry standards of 8‐15% – as evidenced by IATSE scale, management assertions/personal knowledge etc. OR perhaps:
The $300,000 represents approximately 30% of the budget. While this may seem high based upon industry standards of X%, it is reasonable here because DD is a well known producer with a proven track record who typically commands a fee of X ( as evidenced by 2 prior similar producer fee agreements, attached hereto or available for review. ) See IMBD profile for his prior body of work including such recent box office hits as …. OR perhaps:
The $300,000 represents approximately 80% of the budget. Even though the industry standard is X% and DD has never performed the services of an Executive Producer before, Management asserts that this fee is reasonable because…
What is the difference between market rate & actual cost?
A market rate is the price charged to independent third parties, and typically is comprised of cost, plus overhead and profit. Cost is the actual cost of providing a good or service. For purposes of the motion picture tax credit program, (for related party transactions) only cost plus directly related overhead charges are qualifying expenditures, profit and nonrelated overhead are non‐qualifying. Some exceptions may apply.
When should I use the project cost accounting calculations?
As a project based business model, like construction or law, motion picture production companies should probably already be maintaining their inhouse accounting and reporting systems to be able to track specific project costs and hopefully profits. However, if a motion picture production company performs work in house it should report its expenses at cost rather than market rate. As an example:
XYZ Post, LLC (XYZ) creates ABC Motion Picture Production Company, LLC (ABC) as a paper only Louisiana LLC for a variety of business reasons, including serving as a flow through entity for transferring cash funds and for processing related party intercompany invoices for production services. While ABC may be the applicant, the actual economic substance is that XYZ produced the certified film with its personnel, facilities and equipment. Therefore, the applicable qualifying expenditures would be actual costs paid by XYZ.
Qualifying example 1 : Labor: XYZ’s full time employee John Smith provides producer services on various company projects throughout the year. His salary is $50,000. From Jan 1-June 30, John works on one project, Film One. Therefore, when submitting a cost report for Film One, the auditor should reflect $25,000 for John’s producer services, plus any applicable labor burden, typically in the 15-18% range. Since we are considering the project base model, a company may wish to implement internal controls that tracks the actual hours an employee spends on any particular production.
Non-qualifying example: As above, except that XYZ’s cost report reflects John Smith’s producer services at a higher market rate of $50,000. While XYZ could enter into a contract with a third party to provide John
Smith’s services at $50,000 per film, the reality here is that John Smith continued to work as an employee for XYZ on XYZ’s own project and was paid just $25,000 for his services on Film One. Therefore, $25,000 is the applicable qualifying expenditure.
Qualifying example 2 – Equipment: XYZ owns an Avid Camera and uses it for 10 days to film its own project Film Two. It can report this expense in one of two ways:
a) Percentage of market rate: Its documented current market rate is $50.00 per day. Using this method, XYZ can report an expense of $325.00 (10 days x $50 per day x 65%)
b) Internal Cost Recovery rate: XYZ can verify that the Avid Camera was purchased for $10,000 on 1/1/10. It requires minimal maintenance of $10 per month, its expected useful life is 2 years and its anticipated utilization is 50%. Using this method, XYZ can report an expense of $280.
$10,000 purchase price + $240 monthly maintenance fee for 2 years, divided by 50% anticipated utilization over 730 useful life days;
or, more simply
$10240 / 365 days = $28 per day x 10 days = $280
I don't think the project based accounting method should apply to my transaction because...
As a general rule, the project cost accounting system should be reported for all related party transactions. However, exceptions may be granted by LED in writing for just cause shown. Any such exceptions would be a matter of public record, and would be applied to all similarly situated applicants. As an example:
Possible Exception – related parties but minority interest , transaction substantiated as equivalent to armslength transaction and verification of on‐going business operation predominantly involving free market
dealings and arms‐length transactions:
White Brothers Motion Picture Production Company, LLC (WB) is owned by three brothers Jack White 70%, Ken White 25% and Larry White 5%. Corporate documents confirm that Jack is the managing member and majority shareholder, and Ken and Larry are minority shareholders with no involvement in the daily operations of WB.
White CGI Services, LLC (CGI) is owned 100% by Larry White. It performs CGI and visual effects services for the LA motion picture industry, has been in business for 5 years and works with most area production companies. CGI wants to do some work for WB on an upcoming project, and will contract at their normal market rates.
In this instance, while WB and CGI would enter into a related party transaction, LED may grant an exception for reporting at the market rate, rather than cost. While there is common ownership, Larry is only a minority shareholder in WB and there is no common management of WB and CGI. Likewise, Larry operates CGI as a separate and completely distinct business operation from WB and his records reflect that 90% of his business is with other non‐related area production companies & can provide the independent CPA with verification (examples include but are not limited too rate sheets; past contracts, etc…).
The questions/answers under the Accounting FAQs are provided by LED as illustrative examples of the complexity of proper accounting and auditing of related party transactions for applicants to the Motion Picture Tax Credit Program. They were not intended or written to be used as legal or tax advice. For further guidance on these complex issues we suggest that you seek professional advice from a licensed CPA or attorney.
If seeking work as crew or vendor on a local production please register your services. If seeking work as cast or an extra that will be up to the individual projects casting director. For more information on cast or crew work throughout the state, you should consider submiting your résumé to productions listed on the production hotline. The hotline is typically updated every 2-3 weeks, so visit the site regularly for new listings.
How can my home be featured as a location in a local film?
Our locations library would be a great place for you to begin! Location scouts often visit our site in search of new production settings. Simply register and create a profile featuring the best images of your location.
How do my tax dollars contribute to the tax incentive program?
Your tax dollars do not actually fund Louisiana's entertainment incentives. All of our entertainment incentives are tax credits. A tax credit works by reducing a business's tax liability to the State. This helps a business offset it's expenses while it is training Louisiana employees for new jobs, investing in new construction or equipment purchases, or other costs of starting or expanding a new business in Louisiana. This impacts the State's budget because it receives less revenue from anticipated tax revenue earnings. On the other hand, with many other states offering comparable incentives, it is understood that Louisiana would not have the opportunity to attract these new employers without these incentives.
Wanting to see what Central Louisiana offers to your potential film project? Check out our extensive gallery below and let us know which of the locations you would like to learn more about.