Bipartisan act would allow deductions on wages

A bipartisan Senate bill introduced Tuesday is intended to curb runaway film production by increasing the extent of the tax deductions that producers can take.

The Domestic Film Production Equity Act of 2008, introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), would expand the Section 199 Production Incentive, which is pegged to deductions for wages paid to full-time, permanent employees. The bill would allow film companies to deduct wages paid to numerous temporary and/or part-time employees, which include writers, directors and production personnel.

“And to modernize the incentive, the legislation would also allow companies to deduct income from films and TV programs broadcast over the Internet, and income from licensing of film copyrights and trademarks,” an announcement from Feinstein’s office said.

“The film industry is an important part of the American economy. It creates quality jobs and generates significant tax revenues and economic activity,” Feinstein said in a statement. “But U.S. tax laws are helping to push American film production abroad. This legislation will level the playing field and will encourage American producers to make more movies — and employ more Americans — right here at home.”

“Motion film production in Oregon brought in approximately $60 million in jobs and spending into the state over the past three years,” Smith said. “This legislation will incentivize the film industry to keep production at home rather than sending jobs and dollars beneficial to our local communities to locations outside of the U.S.”

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