October 21, 2016

Yes, You Can Use Tax Incentives to Help Pay for Your Documentary

Sundance’s Doc Film Money Map details the documentary tax incentives offered by 31 states in the US.

It’s well documented that there are tax incentives and kickbacks available around the world to narrative filmmakers, but what about docs? Lucky for us, the Sundance Institute has just released a downloadable, state-by-state guide to tax incentives for which documentaries qualify, disproving the belief that most documentary films have budgets too low to benefit from these initiatives. For example, several states offer tax credits of up to 30% for films with budgets as low as $50,000.

Rahdi Taylor, Director of Sundance’s Documentary Film Fund, describes the resource as "a guide to public funds from US state incentives that can help you potentially fund your next documentary movie."  

In addition to an interactive map and the at-a-glance infographic below, the PDF provides a very useful list of questions that you should ask when investigating these opportunities for your film, such as: "What are the extra expenses related to using the money (professional bookkeeping, independent audit by CPA preferred in that state)?"

Documentary tax incentives

Download your Doc Film Money Map here.      

Featured image from 'Gasland,' a film supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Film fund.

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