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Will You Mary Me?

An old hand at film production with a tempting tax rebate, the American state of Maryland is already a popular filming locale

Maryland is a US state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country, bordering Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The state’s most populated city is Baltimore but its capital is Annapolis. The state was named after Queen Henrietta Maria.

Maryland offers a rich array of landscapes from which to choose – from the mountains in the west across the rolling hills and farmlands of central Maryland to the beautiful waterfront and sandy beaches of the eastern shore. Architecture spans centuries, from colonial to modern. And a range of socio-economic backgrounds can be found throughout the state.

Maryland has a deep and film-sensitive crew base, which is experienced in every guild and trade.

Not only does Maryland have diversity in its locations, but the state fully experiences all four seasons as well. Maryland has a wide array of climates, due to local variances in elevation, proximity to water, and protection from colder weather due to down slope winds.                              

The eastern half of Maryland lies on the Atlantic Coastal Plain and enjoys a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and a short, mild to cool winter. Beyond this region, lies the Piedmont, which lies in the transition between the humid subtropical climate zone and the subtropical highland zone with hot, humid summers and cool winters.

Extreme western Maryland, in the higher elevations of Allegany County and Garrett County, lies completely in the subtropical highland zone, due to elevation with milder summers and snowy winters.

Film Production Employment Act of 2011 –Tax Credit

A film production entity may be entitled to a refundable tax credit against the State of Maryland (State) income tax for certain costs incurred in the State that are necessary to carry out a film production activity in the State.

A film production entity may receive a refundable income tax credit of up to 25 per cent of qualified direct costs of film production activity. The aggregate total of tax credits issued in a fiscal year cannot exceed $ 7.5 million. A Preliminary Tax Credit Certificate or Letter of Intent will be issued based upon the film production entity’s total estimated qualified expenditures in Maryland.

If a film production entity is eligible for more than $ 7.5 million or their tax credits cross fiscal years, a Letter of Intent specifying the total amount of tax credits and from which fiscal year the credits will be drawn. Then a Preliminary Tax Credit Certificate on July 1 of the fiscal year in which the funds become available, which may coincide with the issuance of the Final Tax Credit Certificate will be issued.  A film production entity will not receive more credit than the amount specified on its Preliminary Tax Credit Certificate or Letter of Intent.

Qualification Criteria                    

Each applicant must meet all of the following:

• All statutory requirements must be met.

• The submitted Application for Preliminary Tax Credit Certification must be complete and signed.

• The film production entity must be able to demonstrate complete financing.

• The film production entity must be able to show acceptable evidence of national distribution.

• The total qualified direct costs projected to be incurred in the State must exceed $ 5,00,000.

• 50 per cent of principal photography must occur in the State.

• Principal photography must be scheduled to begin within 120 days of receiving the Preliminary Tax Credit Certificate or Letter of Intent from the Department, which may be extended by DBED for up to 90 days at the discretion of the Department based on facts and circumstances beyond the control of the qualified film production entity.

Exemption From The 6 per cent State Sales

An exemption from the 6 per cent state sales is available to qualified feature, television, cable, commercial, documentary, music video projects. The exemption is for sales, rentals and services including, but not limited to:

• All Vehicle Rental

•Camera Equipment and Supplies

• Lighting, Stage Equipment and Supplies

• Sound Equipment and Supplies

• Recording Equipment and Supplies

• Costumes, Wardrobe and Construction Materials

• Props and Scenery and Construction Materials

• Film and Tape                                                           

• Design Supplies and Equipment

• Special Effects Supplies and Equipment

• Fabrication, Printing or Production of Scripts

• Storyboards, Costumes, Wardrobes

• Props, Scenery or Special Effects

• Sales Tax Exemption Application Process

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