Senate Committee Revives Federal Film and TV Tax Credit — for the Final Time

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The Senate will now vote on a package of tax credits sent forth by the Senate Finance Committee

The Senate Finance Committee has revived a package of tax credits that includes Section 181, a lucrative federal tax incentive for the film and TV industry. The committee renewed a package of more than 60 different enticements, commonly known as the Extenders Bill, and dispatched it to the full Senate.

Attorneys tell TheWrap the bill faces an uphill climb because of a credit for win energy — not because of Section 181.

The package expired at the end of 2013, and this new bill would apply retroactively to Jan. 1, 2014. It would run through the end of 2015, at which point committee chairman Ron Wyden (above) hopes to be rid of it forever.

“This will be the last tax extenders bill the committee takes up as long as I’m chairman,” Wyden said Thursday. “That’s why the bill is called the EXPIRE Act. It is meant to expire.”

Also read: L.A. Film Czar: Tax Incentives About Middle-Class Jobs, Not Corporate Welfare

Section 181 is helpful to smaller film productions in promising tax credits of up to $15 million of a production budget – and up to $20 million if you shoot in a distressed area.

The legislation permits producers to deduct some of their expenses before they see any profit. If it expires, they will not be able to do that. It is even more helpful to television as it lets them deduct for each episode.

This latest bill extends benefits to live-stage theatrical productions as well.

Congress let Section 181 expire twice before, both times renewing it and applying the incentive to productions retroactively. The initial Extenders bill was intended to be temporary, but tax reform on Capital Hill has proven elusive.