Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit

Whether you're launching a national concert tour or staging a new theatrical production, we'll help you hit your mark. Louisiana offers a unique tax incentive for musical and theatrical productions.
  • Provides a 7% tax credit for certified Louisiana expenditures between $100,000 and $300,000.
  • Provides a 14% tax credit for certified Louisiana expenditures between $300,000 and $1,000,000.
  • Provides an 18% tax credit for certified Louisiana expenditures over $1,000,000.
  • Provides an additional 7% tax credit for payroll expenditures to Louisiana residents.
  • Program is subject to a $10 million cap per year (with 50% or $5 million being reserved for not-for-profit organizations). Projects are subject to a $1 million cap, per year.
  • The tax credit is refundable or transferable on a one time basis.

Eligibility

Louisiana's musical and theatrical production income tax credit program is open to concert, theatrical and other live productions that originate or debut in the State of Louisiana. There is a $100,000 minimum in-state expenditure requirement.

Qualifying productions include:

  • Pre-Broadway engagement or remounts
  • Tour or resident production remounts
  • Pre-Broadway tryouts
  • Resident or regional productions
  • National touring companies producing their first public performance in Louisiana
  • Concert tours producing their first public performance in Louisiana

Eligible production expenditures:

  • Salaries directly related to the development of in-state certified productions (up to the first $1 million per person)
  • Physical production costs directly related to an in-state certified production
  • Artist compensation directly related to performance days in Louisiana (up to the first $1 million per person)
  • Creative team compensation directly related to work performed in Louisiana
  • Local and touring crew compensation directly related to work performed in Louisiana (up to the first $1 million per person)
  • Hotel and airfare expenditures directly related to an in-state certified production
  • Venue rental and associated fixed costs

Program Statutes & Rules: 

All incentive program rules are in the Louisiana Administrative Code maintained by the Office of the State Register.


Next Steps

Initial Certification (60-90 business days)

  1. Applicant completes and submits the application with supporting documents and fees to OEID.
  2. Prior to OEID’s review of the application, an expenditure verification report (aka “audit”) deposit shall be submitted according to the following schedule:
  3. Production Size                  Deposit Amount 
    $5,000 - $50,000                  $2,500 
    $50,000 – Above                  $5,000

    The applicant will be assessed the department's actual cost for the audit report. The maximum fee shall be $5,000 for verification of a cost report of production or project expenditures reflecting expenditures of between $5,000 and $50,000, and the maximum fee shall be $15,000 for verification of a cost report reflecting expenditures in excess of $50,000.

  4. Once the application is complete, the project is evaluated for eligibility, and if OEID determines that the project meets eligibility requirements in accordance with State law and the program rules and regulations, then an Initial Certification letter will be issued. The Initial Certification letter does NOT certify any expenditures for tax credits. Additional detailed guidelines are provided within the initial certification letter. If the project does not meet eligibility requirements, then OEID will issue a written denial.
  5. The applicant signs the Initial Certification letter and returns it to OEID.

Final Certification (60-90 business days)

  1. Upon completion of the production, the applicant shall notify OEID that they are ready to proceed to final certification and submit a cost report. The assigned CPA will start their audit and provide a report to OEID.
  2. The following information may be requested by the CPA:
    • Full general ledger(s) — any and all data detailing expenditures (in-state and out-of-state) related to the production
    • Full payroll data — any and all data related to payroll associated with the production or infrastructure project
    • Invoices, contracts and proof of payment for certain transactions may be required by LED
    • Verification of Louisiana payroll expenditures through review of Declaration of Residency form(s) by CPA
  3. After the expenditure verification report is received and reviewed, OEID issues a Final Certification letter, confirming the certified amount that was spent in state and the certified amount of tax credits the applicant will receive.

Issuance of Credits (30-45 business days)

  1. Upon Final Certification, OEID submits the Final Certification letter to the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) on behalf of the investor who earned the musical and theatrical production income tax credits.
  2. LDR may require the investor to submit additional information.
  3. LDR issues tax credits to investor.

Eligibility Scenarios

Q. The Rolling Stones and The Lion King are launching their North American tours in Louisiana. Would these productions qualify for the Musical and Theatrical Production Income Tax Credit?
A. YES. Pre-production, running costs and artist guarantees would qualify for tax credits. Only expenditures relating to production activity in Louisiana would qualify for tax credits, and any expenditures relating to out-of-state production activity would be disallowed.

Q. New Orleans is a stop on the North American tours of both the Rolling Stones and The Lion King. Would these productions qualify for the Musical and Theatrical Production Income Tax Credit?
A. No. Neither of these productions would fulfill the statutory requirement that productions originate or debut in Louisiana.


FAQS

Q. How does the program define a qualified musical or theatrical production?
A. Louisiana's Musical and Theatrical Production Incentive Program is open to concert, theatrical and other live productions that originate or debut in the State of Louisiana.

Q. Do not-for-profit organizations qualify for the program?
A. Yes. Although it is necessary to establish taxable liability with the State of Louisiana, it is not necessary to owe taxes. Not-for-profit organizations are issued credits in the form of a "refund of overpayment" by the Louisiana Department of Revenue.  50% or $5 million of the issuance cap is reserved for not-for-profit organizations.

Q. What is a tax credit?
A. A tax credit is a credit that can be used against Louisiana tax liability. In the case of the musical and theatrical production income tax credits, the credits are refundable or transferrable one-time.

Q. What can I do with these tax credits?
A. Musical and theatrical production income tax credits are refundable or transferrable.

Q. Will I need to hire a CPA?
A. No. OEID will assign you a CPA. 

Q. Can I get tax credits for payroll of out-of-state residents?
A. Any qualified expenditures can receive the tax credit award up to 18%, regardless of whether the labor is performed by Louisiana residents, as long as the work is performed in the State of Louisiana. All labor must be verified to have been performed in Louisiana, and any work performed outside of the state would not qualify.

Q. Is there a minimum amount I have to spend in order to receive credits?
A. The minimum that must be expended in Louisiana is $100,000 in Louisiana on the project(s) for which the application is made.

Q. What is the maximum amount in tax credits my project can receive?
A. $1,000,000 per project, per year.

Q. Can this incentive be used in combination with other OEID incentives?
A. OEID has many business incentives, some of which may be combined with the musical and theatrical production income tax credit. Claiming identical expenditures for more than one OEID incentive program is prohibited.

Q. Is there an application fee?
A. Yes. The fee is assessed as 0.5% (0.005) of proposed tax benefit in Louisiana with a $500 minimum fee and $15,000 maximum fee. Make check or money order payable to Louisiana Economic Development. No cash is accepted. The fee is non-refundable.

Q. When will I know if my project qualifies?
A. As soon as we have had a chance to review and clear up any outstanding issues in the application (which we strive to complete as quickly as possible), we issue an Initial Certification that acknowledges a project's applicable expenditures based on those proposed in the application. The Initial Certification is not a tax credit; rather, it is a certification that the project is qualified to potentially earn tax credits.

Q. When do I receive my tax credits?
A. Tax credits are issued in a Final Certification letter.