Oregon’s media incentive programs can rebate 20% of your Oregon-based goods and services, and an additional cash payment of up to 16.2% of payroll wages paid to production personnel working in the state. Oregon issues a cash rebate as opposed to a tax credit like most other states offer. This enables the state of Oregon to deliver a check to you quickly and efficiently. Additionally, Oregon's lack of any sales tax on goods and services can immediately save you 7 to 8%.
Oregon has two main incentive programs: The Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF) and the Greenlight Oregon Labor Rebate program (GOLR). Both of these are available to projects spending more than $1M in the state and, combined, they rebate 16.2% of payrolled labor working in the state and 20% of goods and services bought or rented from Oregon registered companies.
How do I qualify for the rebates?
Non-scripted or "reality" programs and commercial productions do not qualify for the OPIF program but those types of projects may qualify for GOLR. L-OPIF can be utilized by projects spending less than $1M (down to $75k) in the state but they need to be projects being produced by a local producer or production company and are utilizing at least 80% Oregon residents as their speaking cast + crew R-OPIF is available to any OPIF or L-OPIF participating project that is shooting some or all of its production outside of the Portland Metro Area. Every incentive participating company is required to have a written diversity, equity, and inclusion policy to hire or contract with individuals from underrepresented groups as of the date on which the company submits an application for reimbursement. In accordance with that written policy, each company must actively engage in good faith efforts to hire or contract with individuals from underrepresented groups for the production. This written policy needs to be submitted during the application process and then adhered to during the hiring, prep, and production periods. The tracked groups include women, BIPOC, LGTBQ+, Veterans, Recent immigrants, and those living with a Disability amongst others. Productions are required to have a written Harassment Reporting policy and procedure that is distributed to all employees. In addition, each company is required to report diversity statistics for all employee hiring related to the production to Oregon Film during or after completion of the production. You can distribute this employee questionnaire or this company-wide form which your production company can complete during the audit. The project must be fully funded before Oregon will accept your application.
What are the audit guidelines and requirements?
The audit on incentivized projects is performed only after all of the project’s Oregon-based spending has been completed and there is only one audit per project. Here is a list of what is contractually required as per the OPIF and L-OPIF agreements:
- A final summary earnings report from the payroll company for all hires in Oregon;
- A list of all payroll companies used including name, address, and Oregon Employer ID Number;
- An actual final cost accounting with Oregon expenditures marked;
- A list of Oregon vendors and amounts expended in Oregon with those vendors;
- A list of all loan-out companies being submitted as part of the Actual Oregon Expenses on the Project in the State of Oregon, including company name, address, telephone number, and Oregon Employer ID Number.
- Receipts/invoices for all expenditures over $500;
- A crew list with home addresses and phone numbers;
- Evidence, satisfactory to the Office, that all outstanding balances owed to vendors or workers in Oregon have been paid;
- If requested by the Office, the results of an audit, conducted at Recipient’s sole cost by an outside auditing firm acceptable to State, of Recipient’s cash expenditures on the Project;
- Evidence that Recipient is duly authorized to transact business in the State of Oregon; and
- Such other documentation as the Office may request.
Please submit quarterly payroll reports (preferably in MS Excel format) sent directly from your payroll company that matches up with the quarterly tax filings that they have submitted to the Oregon Dept. of Revenue on your behalf.
What else should I know about the OPIF program?
OPIF, L-OPIF, and R-OPIF funds ARE LIMITED. The OPIF program is capped each year at $20M and often runs out. All interested parties should contact Oregon about the application process early and send a budget so they can get a projection of possible rebates to weigh against the project’s schedule and the available funds in the OPIF program.
The funds are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis but they accept applications on a "rolling basis" (i.e. there are no "best times to apply" or specific application deadlines). A project wishing to qualify for any of these programs needs to apply for their incentive programs prior to starting pre-production and spending funds in Oregon.
Any production-related payroll, regardless of employee state of residence, is rebate-able as long as Oregon state withholding tax applies to the wages. (For L-OPIF, at least 80% of the cast and crew must be Oregon residents.) Provided that the loan-out company has registered with the Oregon Secretary of State to do business in Oregon as a foreign corporation, payments to loan-outs making less than $1M per project are included as part of the 20% goods/services rebate. Proof of registration must be provided with final accounting paperwork. Loan-out companies paid more than $1M per project are only eligible for their first $1M of all-in compensation (payroll, living allow, perdiem, kit rentals, etc.) under the OPIF program rules. Forms can be found on the Oregon Secretary of State’s website. Foreign corporations are also required to have a registered agent in Oregon to whom tax documents can be mailed. A list of registered agents can also be found on the Secretary of State’s website. The production company does not need to be an Oregon corporation. Foreign corporations do need to register to do business in Oregon and provide proof of registration with their final accounting paperwork. This process is the same as the above information for loan-outs.
Once the production company has submitted all of the required paperwork to the Oregon Film Office, the initial review process takes approximately two weeks. If there are no questions or additional paperwork needed, the check for the OPIF or L-OPIF portion of the rebate (20% of goods/services and 10% of payroll) takes approximately 2-3 additional weeks to be issued. The Greenlight Labor Rebate (an additional 6.2% of payroll) is issued approximately 2-3 weeks after the Oregon Department of Revenue has verified that the final quarterly tax payment and report that is applicable to the project has been received. Payroll processing companies normally make their quarterly payments within 30 days after the end of the previous quarter. All travel-related costs that are booked through an Oregon-based travel agent into and out of Oregon will count at the 20% rate. Travel booked though an exclusively online agent or directly with the airlines will not qualify.
What information does the Oregon Production Investment Fund need to process my rebate?
In order to process rebates under the Oregon Production Investment Fund (20% of applicable goods/services paid in Oregon, and 10% of all Oregon-based payroll) and the Greenlight Oregon Labor Rebate (up to an additional 6.2% of Oregon-based payroll) the Oregon Film Office will need the following: Final production cost report for all applicable Oregon-related goods/services, this includes: A vendor report showing payments to all companies registered to do business in Oregon Copies of checks for any vendor expenditures over $500. A petty cash report showing all eligible Oregon petty cash expenditures. Copies of all petty cash envelopes with detailed receipts for any single petty cash expenditure above $500. These vendor reports should not include any non-Oregon/non-qualifying expenses or any payroll expenditures.
Final production summary earning reports (payroll reports) from all applicable payroll companies showing detailed gross pay, net pay, withholding (specifically Oregon withholding), employee social security numbers, and applicable pension, health, and vacation contributions. Also required is proof of payment of local taxes (i.e. Tri-Met taxes) The payroll reports must show only Oregon labor, be broken down by quarter, and include full employee social security numbers. A list of all payroll companies used including name, contact person, email, phone number, Federal Tax ID, and Oregon employer ID number. A final crew list with home addresses and phone numbers. A final vendor list. Evidence of LLC or production company registration to do business in the State of Oregon Behind-the-scenes production photos for use by the Film Office strictly for its government relations and marketing purposes. The Film Office may request additional detail if the audit shows any discrepancies in payments or accounting. Payroll rebate cannot be processed until both the final withholding deposit and the final quarterly report is filed for the last quarter applicable to the production.
How do I apply?
The state of Oregon encourages all who are interested in applying for the rebate to contact them via email.
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