Film Tax Credit Audits
Beginning January 1, 2021, mandatory film tax credit audits must be conducted before usage of the film tax credit. The mandatory film tax credit audit is based on the date the production was first certified by the Department of Economic Development (DECD) and the credit amount according to the following schedule:
- Projects First Certified by DECD on or after 1/1/21, with credit amount that exceeds $2,500,000.00
- Projects First Certified by DECD on or after 1/1/22, with credit amount that exceeds $1,250,000.00
- All Projects First Certified by DECD on or after 1/1/23
For any project that is subject to the requirements, the project must be issued final certification before the credit can be sold or used in any manner.
The Department will certify independent third-party accounting firms (eligible auditors) to assist in the performance of the mandatory film tax credit audits. When submitting applications for the mandatory film tax credit audits, production companies will have the option to request the Department to perform the audit, or an eligible auditor to perform the audit, with the Department performing additional auditing as necessary. For all projects subject to the requirements, the Department will issue the final certification of the film tax credit.
The mandatory film tax credit audits require a fee, which will be determined by the amount of total production costs within the State of Georgia, and whether the Department alone or an eligible auditor conducts the audit. The fee cost is outlined below. Please note that Department fees will apply regardless of which auditor is selected. Eligible auditor fees listed are only for the Department’s oversight and administrative costs, and are in addition to fees charged by the eligible auditor.
|Georgia Production Costs||Fee: Department Conducts||Fee: Eligible Auditor Conducts|
|$500,000.00 - $5,000,000.00||$5,000.00||$3,250.00|
|$5,000,000.01 - $10,000,000.00||$12,500.00||$6,500.00|
|$10,000,000.01 & Above||$25,000.00||$9,750.00|
To apply for a Mandatory Film Tax Credit Audit, a Mandatory Film Tax Credit Audit Application must be completed and submitted to the Department, along with a copy of the DECD certification letter and the required fee. Upon receipt of the application and fee, the authorized individual named on the application will be contacted to coordinate the audit.
Once the Mandatory Film Tax Credit Audit is complete, the Department will issue a Final Certification letter, listing the amount of credit authorized. The film tax credit will then be available for immediate use.
Production companies that are not required to have an audit, based on the project approval dates and amounts listed above, may request a Voluntary Film Tax Credit Audit. These audits will be performed subject to auditor availability. To apply for a voluntary audit, a Voluntary Film Tax Credit Application must be completed and submitted to the Department, along with a copy of the DECD certification letter and the required fee.
For independent accounting firms interested in becoming an Eligible Auditor, requirements are listed in the Film Tax Credit 3rd Party Eligible Auditor Application. To apply, please complete and submit this form.
The Department has also created a list of Film Tax Credit Expenditures that may be helpful.
Questions? Please email [email protected].