Effective January 1, 2001, any qualified production company engaged in Florida in the production of motion pictures, made for television motion pictures, television series, commercial advertising, music videos or sound recordings may be eligible for an exemption from sales and use tax on the purchase or lease of certain items used exclusively as an integral part of the production activities in Florida. The production company must apply for a certificate of exemption to be presented to a registered Florida sales and use tax dealer when making purchases and rentals of qualified production equipment.
The Office of Film and Entertainment (OFE) will determine whether or not a production company meets the established approval criteria and qualifies for the exemption upon receipt of the properly completed on-line application. The OFE will then notify the Department of Revenue of the approval. The Department of Revenue will issue the certificate of exemption within 5 working days of the notification from the OFE.
Tangible personal property means personal property that may be seen, weighed, measured, or touched. For the equipment to qualify for the exemption, the tangible personal property must be used exclusively as an integral part of the production activities in this state. The equipment must be depreciable with a useful life of at least 3 years. The exemption may also be extended to parts and accessories for qualified production equipment.
Props and wardrobe that are purchased and can be stored for future production activities may qualify for the exemption. Food, beverages, plants, or personal clothing (lingerie, underwear) although used in the production, would not qualify for the exemption. Nails, paint, and other items that become a component part of a finished product are exempt. The brushes, pails, masking tape, and other tools and accessories would not qualify.
Generally, vehicles and vessels that are required to be registered, licensed, or titled do not qualify for the exemption. The exception would be registered, licensed, or titled vehicles and vessels that are specifically designed and factory equipped with qualified production equipment. Motor homes or other vehicles and vessels not specifically equipped with production equipment, or if used for wardrobe or make-up, or used as cast and crew quarters, are not eligible for the exemption. Attachments to the ineligible vehicles or vessels, such as camera racks or boom arms, etc., would be eligible if separately itemized on the invoice.
"Real property" means the surface land, improvements thereto, and fixtures, and is synonymous with "realty" and "real estate." The leasing, renting, or granting of a license to use any real property such as sound stages, studios, or any other real estate used as an integral part of the performance of the qualified production services, as noted below, is exempt from tax.
To determine if the real property is exempt from tax, the term "qualified production services" means any activity or service performed directly in connection with the production of a qualified motion picture, made for television motion picture, television series, commercial advertising, music video or sound recording. Examples include the design, planning, engineering, construction, alteration, repair, and maintenance of real or tangible personal property, including, but not limited to models, paintings, props, sets, stages, and facilities principally required for the performance of the qualified production services listed below.
Adaptation (language, media, electronic, or otherwise)
The sale or lease of master tapes or master records that are used by the recording industry in reproducing audio recordings are taxable only on the value of the blank tapes or records used as a medium to transfer the master tapes or records. Likewise, the sale or lease of master films and master video tapes that are used in reproducing visual images for showing on screens or television is taxable only on the value of the blank film or tape used as a medium to transfer the master films and tapes. The value of all the major cost components of making a master, such as artistic services, processing, and copyrights or royalties, is excluded from the taxable price of the sale or lease. This tax treatment is limited to sales or leases by a recording studio to the recording industry or by a motion picture or television studio to the motion picture or television production industry.
References: Section 288.1258, F.S.