Many items purchased, rented or repaired for the production of film/video projects are exempt from state sales and use tax (6.25%) and local sales and use taxes (usually 0.25-2%).
Eligible projects include features, television projects, commercials, corporate films, infomercials or other projects intended for distribution . Films or videos not intended for distribution are not eligible for these exemptions. These exemptions are covered in the Texas Tax Code, Section 151.318, and the Comptroller of Public Accounts Administrative Rule 3.300. Similar exemptions are available to music producers and multimedia producers. For information on music industry exemptions, please contact the Texas Music Office at 512-463-6666.
Texas use tax is due on items purchased outside the state and used in Texas. The use tax is the same rate as the sales tax, but producers may get credit for any sales tax paid to another state.
Producers may claim 100% exemption from state and local taxes on purchases or rentals of qualifying machinery, equipment and supplies. All items must be necessary and essential to the production to qualify, and items must be used directly in production or post-production. Some items, even though essential to production, are not tax-exempt (See non-qualifying equipment, supplies and services).
Cameras, camera accessories, costumes, makeup, lights, props, teleprompters, video assist systems, time code equipment, VTR editing equipment, switchers, character generators, sound equipment, walkie-talkies*, pagers*, cellular phones*, film stock, dollies and cranes, lights, lighting control systems, extension cables, grip equipment, terminating boxes, fog machines and wind machines.
*if used solely on the set.
Office equipment, car rentals, hand tools, director's chairs, gas cans, ladders, rakes, shovels, shipping cases, battery chargers and office utilities.
Editing, film processing, film-to-tape transfers, Foley services, multi-image services, sound mixing, voice-overs, ADR/looping and audio sweetening. Repairs to qualifying machinery, equipment or supplies are also tax-exempt.
Catering, script typing, landscape maintenance, and duplications of the master tape.
Producers may receive a refund of taxes paid on fuel used in generators, in unlicensed vehicles such as tractors, or in boats. Original invoices must be presented when claiming fuel tax refunds, and claims must be made within 12 months of use. For information on motor fuel refunds, call the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, (800) 252-1383.
The 6 percent state hotel occupancy tax is waived for persons staying for 30 consecutive days or longer. Occupants must claim this exemption upon checking in.
To receive a copy of the Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate you may call the Texas Film Commission at (512) 463-9200 or download a copy via Tax Forms Online.
When filling out the form, in the section marked "Purchaser claims this exemption for the following reason," an appropriate entry would be "items are to be used directly in production of [project title]." Provide a completed form to each vendor from which you are buying or renting qualifying items. If you're making several purchases from the same vendor, they may keep one completed form on file; you don't have to fill out a new one for each transaction. Even for exempt purchases, the vendor will include sales tax on your invoice. Deduct the amount from the total, and include a completed Exemption Certificate with your payment. Please don't ask that the invoice be prepared without sales tax; it's necessary for the vendor's records.
For more information about these exemptions please contact:
Tax Administration Division
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
111 East 17th Street, Austin, TX 78774
(800) 531-5441 or (800) 252-5555
(512) 463-4614 (if calling from Austin)
(800) 252-1383 (for Motor Fuel Tax Rebates)
For the most recent updates contact the Texas Film Commission at www.governor.state.tx.us/film
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Film Commission website information for noncommercial purposes is
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© State of Texas, Office of the Governor, Texas Film Commission
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