The New York Commercial Tax Credit Program

New York State (NYS) has always been a hub for the Industry, with a bustling production scene and diversity of talent. To further stimulate growth and attract more commercial production, NYS offers the Commercial Tax Credit Program, tailored specifically for the Industry. 

This initiative aims to provide financial incentives to production companies, making it more appealing to shoot commercials and other media projects in the state. 

Here, we take a look at the specifics of the program, its benefits for the Industry, how production companies can leverage these credits, and where the best place is to shoot (HINT: IT’S UPSTATE). 

The Difference Between Shooting in New York City vs. Shooting Upstate

If you’re thinking about shooting in New York State, there’s a big difference in savings between filming in Upstate vs. Downstate. The two regions are defined as follows:


The Downstate component is based on filming or recording qualified commercials within the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD), which includes New York City, Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.


The Upstate component is based on filming or recording qualified commercials outside the MCTD but within NYS.

Key Differences Between Filming in Upstate vs. Downstate


Upstate, you only need to spend $100,000 to start receiving benefits, whereas in downstate, you need to spend $500,000.


The credit offered for Downstate is $4 million and $3 million for Upstate, for a total of $ 7 million per year offered.

Rebate Percentage

The rebate percentage is 50% greater upstate compared to downstate. 


Understanding the NYS Commercial Tax Credit Program for the Entertainment Industry

The NYS Commercial Tax Credit Program is designed to encourage commercial production within the state by offering tax credits for eligible expenses. 

The program targets various aspects of commercial production, including:

  • Pre-production
  • Production
  • Post-production

By providing these incentives, the state aims to boost economic activity, create jobs, and solidify New York’s reputation as a premier destination for media production.

Key Features of the Program

  1. Eligibility Criteria: The program is open to production companies that create commercials, music videos, and other media content. To qualify, companies must incur specific production-related expenses within New York State.
  2. Types of Tax Credits: The program offers tax credits for various production-related costs, including:
    • Production Costs: Expenses related to filming, such as camera equipment, lighting, and sound.
    • Labor Costs: Wages and salaries paid to crew members, actors, and other production staff.
    • Post-Production Costs: Costs associated with editing, special effects, and sound design.
  3. Application Process: Production companies must apply through the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development. The application process requires detailed documentation of expenses and how they contribute to the production within New York.

Benefits of the NYS Commercial Tax Credit Program for the Entertainment Industry

The NYS Commercial Tax Credit Program offers numerous benefits tailored to the needs of the entertainment industry, including:

  1. Financial Incentives: The tax credits help reduce the overall production costs, making it more feasible for companies to shoot commercials and other media projects in New York.
  2. Job Creation: The program promotes job creation by encouraging production companies to hire local talent and crew, contributing to the state’s employment growth in the entertainment sector.
  3. Economic Development: By attracting more commercial productions, the program stimulates local economies, driving demand for various goods and services such as hotels, catering, and transportation.
  4. Competitive Edge: Offering attractive tax credits makes New York a competitive location for commercial production, drawing in projects that might otherwise go to other states or countries.

How to Apply

Applying for the NYS Commercial Tax Credit Program involves several key steps:

  1. Research Eligibility: Production companies should first determine if their project meets the eligibility criteria for the program. This includes understanding the specific tax credits available and how they apply to their production activities.
  2. Prepare Documentation: Gather all necessary documentation, including detailed expense reports and descriptions of how these expenses relate to the production within New York State.
  3. Submit Application: Complete the application form available on the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development website and submit it along with the required documentation.
  4. Follow Up: After submitting the application, production companies should follow up with the office to ensure their application is being processed and to provide any additional information if needed.

Final Thoughts

The NYS Commercial Tax Credit Program is a valuable resource for the entertainment industry. It provides crucial financial incentives that make commercial production more affordable and attractive in New York State. 

By offering these benefits, the program helps create jobs, stimulates economic growth, and reinforces New York’s position as a leading center for media production. 

Production companies interested in taking advantage of this program should carefully review the eligibility criteria, prepare thorough documentation, and submit a complete application to maximize their benefits.


By tapping into the resources provided by the NYS Commercial Tax Credit Program, production companies can enhance their projects while contributing to the vibrant entertainment landscape of New York State.

Want to chat about filming in New York? We’d love to chat about getting you started. 

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