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Film Incentives

Virginia's motion picture incentive package is comprised of two separate performance-based incentive funds. Awards will be made to qualified film, television, documentary or commercial projects based on several factors including length of filming in the Commonwealth, jobs created, trainees hired and Virginia goods and services purchased.

Motion Picture Opportunity Fund & Production Tax Credit

The Governor's Motion Picture Opportunity Fund fund provides a grant or rebate to qualified projects. Filmmakers must have all of their funding in place and apply for this grant before production begins. The Virginia Motion Picture Production Tax Credit is in effect now.

To apply for the fund or the tax credit program, complete our incentive application and return it to the Virginia Film Office no later than 30 days prior to production.

Additional state incentives include an exemption from state sales tax, as well as an exemption from hotel taxes after 90 consecutive days or more in some localities. In most cases, state-owned locations are provided free of charge. The Film Office assists in negotiating other free or low cost locations that have historically resulted in significant savings to productions shooting in the state. For more information, contact Marketing Manager Becky Beckstoffer at 800.854.6233 or bbeckstoffer@virginia.org.

 

Sales and Use Tax Exemption 

Many of the expenses incurred in the purchase of production-related supplies or equipment are exempt from the state's 4% sales and use tax. This exemption is realized immediately and can be obtained by submitting a form to the merchant at the time of sale. No paperwork needs to be filed upon completion of production and no rebates will be sent at the end of the tax year.

To receive the exemption, download the "Commonwealth of Virginia Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption" and present it when you purchase a qualified item. In most cases, the merchant will keep a copy on file for future reference.

Some of the major items covered by the Sales and Use Tax Exemption include purchasing and developing film including movie film; materials used to construct costumes, props or scenery; equipment rentals; heating and air conditioning used on the set; scripts, musical scores or storyboards; drafting and design supplies.

 

Lodging Tax Exemptions

After 90 consecutive days, stays in a Virginia hotel or motel will be exempt from the state's lodging tax on the entire stay. Residents must pay the taxes to the hotel until the stay exceeds 90 days. After that time, lodging tax will no longer be charged and the amount already paid will be credited back to the bill.

Many counties and cities in Virginia charge an additional lodging tax, often referred to as a transient occupancy tax, and the laws governing these taxes vary greatly by locality. As a general rule, however, most localities will exempt residents of hotels and motels from the tax after a stay of 90 consecutive days or more. To find out if your project is eligible for this exemption contact Beth Stinnett, Martinsville-Henry County Film Coordinator at 276.403.5945 or BStinnett@YesMartinsville.com.


For more information about all of Virginia's tax regulations, contact:

Bland Sutton
Virginia Department of Taxation
Post Office Box 27185
Richmond, Virginia 23261-7185
Phone - (804) 371-2332
FAX - (804) 371-2355