Topsheet provides COVID-19 touchless payroll for productions
April 2, 2022

New Mexico’s diverse landscape and amicable weather patterns make it one of the United State’s fastest-growing film locations. Combine that with its almost unbeatable tax incentives, it’s no wonder films like The Avengers, Transformers, Breaking Bad, and Jumanji: The Next Level have chosen to film there. The following information was found on New Mexico’s Film Office Government Website.

What types of projects qualify for New Mexico’s tax incentive?

The New Mexico Film Office declares that the following projects qualify for the tax incentive:

Feature Films Television (MOW, pilots, series, reality) Independent Films Documentaries Certain Commercials and Electronic Press Kits (EPK’s) Student Films Short Films Animations Video Games Webisodes Music Videos Infomercials Content-based Mobile Apps Virtual Reality (VR) Multi-Media New Media Visual Effects (VFX) Standalone Post-Production

What are the credit amounts?

| Base Refundable Tax Credit | 25% | | Maximum Refundable Tax Credit Allowed | 35% | | Additional Uplifts | 5% |

An additional 5% credit options are available (options 1 & 2 are not stackable)

Standalone pilots intended for series television and series television. Standalone pilots intended for series television production in New Mexico. Series television production must be:

  • Intended for commercial distribution
  • Have an order for at least six episodes in a single season
  • New Mexico budget of a minimum of $50K per episode Qualified Production Facilities (QFP) An additional 5% credit is available if certain criteria are met regarding the use of qualified production facilities (soundstage, etc). 5% UPlift Zone Filming An additional 5% shall be applied for payments for direct production expenditures in New Mexico areas that are at least 60 miles outside the exterior boundaries of Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties.

What are the Additional Available Credits?

Nonresident Below-the-Line (BTL) Crew Exception credit (NRCE)

Allows for a 15% credit for the payment of wages for BTL crew who are not New Mexico residents. When participating in this credit the production must fulfill a 2.5% giveback. The giveback amount is calculated by taking 2.5% of the total nonresident below-the-line crew direct production expenditures (“direct production expenditures for the payment of wages, fringe benefits and per diem for nonresident industry crew made by the film production company to nonresident industry crew”).

Film Crew Advancement Program (FCAP)

This on-the-job training program focuses on NM residents working in primarily technical industry positions. This program serves as an incentive for participating companies to provide job opportunities to New Mexico residents who are ready to move up within their department or are adding a new skill set. All FCAP participants must have a mentor. The FCAP program provides a 50% reimbursement of the qualifying participants’ wages for up to 1040 hours physically worked by the crew member. Two FCAP positions are allowed per department, with the exception of the participation in Operation Soundstage (see below).

Operation Soundstage (OSS)

This is a New Mexico veteran program under the Film Crew Advancement Program (FCAP). This program helps to attract veterans with transferrable skills to the film industry and fast-tracks them into IATSE Local 480, the local below-the-line crew union in New Mexico. If production is participating in OSS, a total of three FCAP positions per department are allowed, 2 FCAP participants, and one OSS/FCAP participant.

How do I register?

Once you have decided to film in New Mexico, register with the State of New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department as soon as possible. Doing so will help expedite the registration process with the Film Office.

Register at least 30 calendar days before principal photography/audiovisual media/stand-alone post begins. Complete the following forms and submit all of them to:


Please allow 1-2 days for a response and make sure to check your spam folder. Incomplete registration documents will be returned.
Registration documents will only be reviewed after all completed documents have been submitted. Proof of Funds may be requested.

What forms do I need to submit?





Back2One – Principals, Recommendations, and Resources



FILM CREW ADVANCEMENT PROGRAM (FCAP) (if participating-must be submitted at least 30 days before filming begins)

NEW MEXICO BUDGET TOPSHEET (provided by the production) FYI-370 Information Regarding Film Production Tax Credits – Including Qualified Expenses

Qualified Production Facilities

5% Uplift Zone Outside the 60 Mile Zone of Bernalillo/Santa Fe Counties (MAP)

When will I receive my Letter of Certification/production meeting?

Once all documentation is received, reviewed, and approved, the New Mexico Film Office will email the project a letter of certification. The letter certifying that the project will be eligible to apply for a tax credit of the amount stated in the letter. It is highly recommended that you begin the application process no later than 30 days before you are scheduled to begin filming. The sooner you begin the process, the better- just in case there is a snafu!

Productions will be invited to attend a pre-production meeting to review the tax credit process and answer any questions that they might have.

If the information on the registration form changes, please fill out a new registration form ASAP.

Important Note: You will have to resubmit the forms if the filing entity or the authorized representative who signed the forms changes. Please remember that the qualifying expenses must be incurred by the filing entity listed on these forms.

What do I do before the start of principal photography?

Send One Liner and a list of filming locations to

Sign up to receive daily call sheets and updated one-liners.

What do I submit after wrap?

Once principal photography/audiovisual media/stand-alone post has ended in New Mexico, complete and submit the following information to





##How do I submit the tax credit application?

Complete and submit the following to


NRCE/GIVEBACK FORM Productions will use the estimated NRCE credit max amount to calculate the giveback amount. The calculation can be found on page 13 of the FYI-370.

Confirmation of Giveback Options

Proof of media buy (Commercials)

Tax credit application: Film Production Tax Credit: Tax Professionals (

Screenshot of the end credits as described in 7-2F-13 (H).


A written acknowledgment (required for all projects).

Acknowledgment: “This project benefited from the New Mexico Film Production Refundable Tax Credit which is administered by the New Mexico Film Office, a division of the New Mexico Department of Economic Development, and with support from the Film Credit Unit of the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue. Filmed on location in the State of New Mexico” the acknowledgment shall be in the end screen credits that the production was filmed in New Mexico and a three-second static or animated state logo provided by the division shall be included and embedded in the following: (1) end screen credits before the below-the-line crew crawl for the life of the project of long-form narrative film productions; and (2) body of the program for the life of television episodes, the placement of which shall be: (a) in the opening sequence; (b) as a bumper into or out of a commercial break; or (c) in a prominent position in each single project’s end credits with no less than a half screen exposure, but not covering content. Unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by the film production company and the division

5 High-Resolution Set Photos (JPEG/PDF) with rights-cleared for promotional use by NMFO

3 Social Media Posts with NMFO tagged @nmfilmoffice (FB, Twitter, and Instagram)

What do I do when I find a location?:

Relatively few permits are required for filming in New Mexico, but they are required for production on federal, state-owned, and tribal properties and lands. Permits are also often required for production on city properties, especially historical sites, and public streets, as well as for special use of county roads and state highways.

Establish the ownership of the location of interest and be sure to confirm this directly with the owner/division. Ask if there is more than one entity involved in the ownership and if there is a managing entity – this could mean more than one permit is needed. Who to initially call varies, but for land and buildings consider starting with the County Assessor’s Office, the City Film Office or Film Liaison closest to the property, and the State Film Office to find out who owns (or doesn’t own) the location.

The earlier you contact the owner the better. Federal Government agencies may tell you it could take up to 45 to 60 days to process an application.

Don’t assume that the person you contact understands the film process regardless if they seem in agreement. Be sure to explain whether you are inquiring or are requesting to actually use the location and that multiple tech scouts may need to occur before the decisions are made- whether the location is needed and to what extent. Be clear.

Anticipate and establish all the possibilities of use for that location to include in the inquiry and potentially the permit application. Consider including more details in the application than you will probably need. If you believe the production is not sure if 5 or 50 horses will be in the scene, be prepared to request that the permit approval includes 50 horses and any additional conditions to allow that.

Cultural, ecological, and public impacts to a location may require a determination per the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

Depending upon the request, a determination must be made on the type of permit(s)/licensure(s) and a (reasonable) price must be negotiated.

Make sure to establish a location release and process with the owner ahead of time.

*Companies considering shooting on federal property must connect with the proper federal contact immediately. Be aware that security clearances for all cast and crew entering the property must be processed with Homeland Security, and expect a lead time of three to four weeks for final approval.

New Mexico Film Liaisons

The New Mexico Film Office offers an established network of film liaisons.

An individual is appointed to serve as the liaison for all film activities in their designated area. Film Liaisons have relationships with the local government agencies, the chamber of commerce as well as businesses and property owners. The liaison is an industry point person who represents their city, county, pueblo, or tribe. In several communities, this individual is employed by the county, city, tribe, chamber of commerce, or visitor’s bureau. In a few instances, the film liaison may be a volunteer or contractor.

New Mexico Film Liaison Contact List

New Mexico Film Office does not determine the endorsement of a film liaison, this is the decision of the mayor, county manager, city manager, or governing council.

Contact Information for New Mexico Film Office

Phone: 505-476-5600



How can I work with Topsheet?

Topsheet’s vast database makes dull production tasks a breeze. Manage your crew with permissions, schedules, and invites from your mobile device. Create, notify, and distribute call sheets faster than ever. Sign, create standards, and approve time cards digitally- no more long lines at the end of the day. Using Topsheet for payroll means you just chose the easiest way to pay your cast and crew. Our payroll is paired with W9 and W4 support, we also offer direct deposit.

Watch a free demo today. Welcome to the future of filmmaking.

About Topsheet

Topsheet is an entertainment tech company specializing in production payroll. We service clients from commercials for Fortune 500 to feature films. We are born in technology, built with filmmakers in mind.

Do you need production payroll?

Hi. We are Topsheet. We are determined to revolutionize production payroll. Our only question is, will it be your production?

Don't foget to share this post