Over the past 15 years, Georgia has established itself as a go-to location for production. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has created challenges for the industry and temporarily brought production to a halt. To discuss how studios can successfully restart production in the state, Entertainment Partners and Barnes & Thornburg hosted the webinar, “Georgia on My Mind: Pushing Play on Production in Georgia.”
Peter Stathopoulos, a Partner in Bennett Thrasher’s State & Local Tax practice and leader of the firm’s Entertainment practice, was on the panel and highlighted recent state and local tax efforts to support and attract production in Georgia, including:
- Providing support to local cast and crew by educating them on available resources for small businesses, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and CARES Act;
- Continuing to talk with key political leaders to ensure the production industry feels support from the state; and
- Helping studios navigate the new world of expenses by providing clarification on qualifying expenses for tax credits.
In addition, Stathopoulos shared his insight on HB 1037, or the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act. He explained that this bill requires an audit of all production expenses by the Georgia Department of Revenue or a third-party certified public accounting firm. These firms will be pre-approved by the Department, which ensures that the audit will be completed efficiently by a state-trained firm.
Insight was also shared from Beth Nelson, Executive Director of Film Savannah; Deborah Riley Draper, writer, director and filmmaker; Allen Fox, Director of Creative Industry Partnerships at Georgia Department of Economic Development; and Jeff Stepakoff, Executive Director for the Georgia Film Academy.
To listen to the webinar, click here.