Federal tax incentive designed to stem runaway production dies quiet death

The only federal tax incentive designed specifically to keep film and TV production in the United States is dead. For Hollywood, it’s the first casualty of the new political reality.

Enacted as part of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, Section 181 of the Internal Revenue Code was designed to stem the flow of runaway production to foreign countries that were, and still are, offering generous tax breaks to lure away American productions.

An important provision that promotes domestic film production, Section 181 was not a permanent fix;   it had to be renewed by Congress every two years and this year, the lawmakers let it die. A House bill was introduced to extend it, but it died in the Ways and Means Committee.

The incentive still could be renewed retroactively next year or the year after, as it was in 2010, but under a Donald Trump presidency, there might be little political will to do so.

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