Film Production Incentives

For 35 years, there have been incentives available to productions working in the Wilmington Region: diverse locations, talented local crew, soundstages, great climate, a can-do attitude, and a film-friendly environment. Combine these with the additional incentives of a rebate of up to 25% on qualified expenses of productions and an accommodations tax exemption. Now you see why so many productions have decided to choose the Wilmington region.

Accommodations Tax

When staying in North Carolina, occupants receive a refund and cessation of taxes on accommodation rentals reaching or exceeding 90 days. All businesses and individuals providing accommodations in New Hanover County such as a hotel, motel, inn, residence, or other short term rental, charge a Room Occupancy Tax. This tax is in addition to the state and local Sales and Use Tax of 7.0%. The combined total of taxes on accommodations is 13.0%.

After a guest’s 90th consecutive day of occupancy, collection of all taxes stop (Sales and Use Tax and Room Occupancy Tax), and a refund is issued for all taxes paid (the entire 13.0%) for the first 90 days.

For more information, read the bulletin from the NC Department of Revenue.

25% Film Grant

*This information has been updated as of June 15, 2018, to reflect the most recent changes made by the North Carolina General Assembly.

North Carolina offers a 25% rebate on qualifying expenses and purchases/rentals made by productions while in-state as its film incentive.  The rebate is funded through the North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant, which currently is allocated $31 million per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30), with any unused funds carrying over from fiscal year to fiscal year.

The rebate, whose funding is now labled recurring in the state budget, coupled with the recent elimination of the program’s sunset date, demonstrates North Carolina’s long-term commitment to the film and entertainment industry.

An ambitious rebate package combined with experienced crews and great infrastructure are why there’s always one more reason to shoot in North Carolina. Explore more about the rebate program in the summary below, and find out what 25% back can mean for your production.

Summary of North Carolina Grant Program

Incentive Type

Up to 25% rebate via funds from the NC Film and Entertainment Grant

Per Project Cap

$9 million for television series per season

$5 million for feature-length films

$250,000 for commercials#

Minimum Spend

$1 million per episode average for TV series

$5 million for feature-length films

$250,000 for commercials#

Annual Cap

$34 million* for 2017-18 fiscal year

(*$15M allocation + $19M roll-over)

$31 million in recurring funds for 2018-19 fiscal year

NOTE:  NC fiscal year runs July 1-June 30

Qualified Labor

First $1 million of each resident and nonresident qualify

Loan Out Withholding

Yes; 4

Audit

NC-licensed independent certified public accountant to perform audit at cost to the production

Screen Credit Required

Yes, including a logo to be supplied by NC Film Office

Qualifying Expenses

Goods / Services / Compensation and Wages / Fringes / Per Diems / Living Expenses and Stipends

Qualifying Productions

Episodic Television Series / Television Mini-Series / Movies of the Week / Feature Films / Direct-to-Video / Reality Television / Commercials# / Documentaries / Animation Productions / Webisodes

Application

First, complete the NC Film Office's "notification of intent to film" form, then the formal NC Department of Commerce Film and Entertainment Grant Application

State-Owned Property

Fee-free usage

Sunset Date

None (as of 10/9/17 via S 582 from SL 2017-212)

Enacted Bill Numbers

S 744 (SL 2014-100) - establishing legislation

H 97 (SL 2015-241) - modification to establishing legislation

S 257 (SL 2017-57) - changes funding to recurring (part of the state's overall biennium budget)

S 582 (SL 2017-212) - eliminates the sunset date of the program

Download a combined version of establishing legistation & modifications made since (as recent as Oct 2017)

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