The Sooner State should be on the radar of any filmmaker looking to shoot in America’s heartland, as it offers one of the highest base rebate percentages in the nation at 35%. An additional 2% can be obtained by utilizing Oklahoma’s bustling music and recording scene in the production, and with a low minimum spend of only $50K (at least $25K of which must be local spend), even small independent films will find the Oklahoma incentive easily accessible. There are no caps for how much a single project may obtain in rebates, but keep in mind the program has an annual cap of $8 million, distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
An extremely wide breadth of filming locations can also be found among the 12 eco-regions, with everything from the trademark great plains and sweeping prairies to the unexpected lush forests, expansive plateaus and sand dunes. For any project coming to the state, film-friendly Oklahoma businesses are eager to offer up heartland hospitality to productions, big and small.
Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program
The Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program offers a cash rebate of 35-37% on qualifying Oklahoma expenditures to film and television productions filming in the state. The rebate is extended to film, television and commercial productions. The rebate currently has a $8 million rolling cap per fiscal year (July 1-June 30) and has been renewed through 2027. There is no per-project cap, but each production must have a minimum budget of $50,000 and spend $25,000 in qualified Oklahoma spend. Rebate funds are pre-qualified for eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.
The rebate offers a base percentage of 35% on qualified Oklahoma expenditures. If a minimum of $20,000 is spent on music that has been recorded in Oklahoma by an Oklahoman or on Oklahoma music production costs, an additional 2% is added to the total rebate on qualified Oklahoma expenditures, for a total of 37%.
The Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program statute is found in Oklahoma Statute Title 68 Section 3621 through 3626.
The Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) believes the highest priority to maintain our state’s film industry amid the COVID-19 Pandemic is the safety of Oklahoma’s filmmakers, crew members, talent, vendors, location owners and cities. As such, and in accordance with the State of Oklahoma’s three-phased approach to safely reopen the economy, known as The Open Up and Recover Safely (OURS) plan, OF+MO has released Considerations for Oklahoma Filmmaking during COVID-19 in a printable PDF along with a newly added Reopening Oklahoma webpage with additional related resources for filmmakers at this time.
The production company must provide proof of complete financing prior to commencement of principal photography. Proof that 50% of funding is in place is due 60 days prior to the start of principal photography, and proof that complete funding is in place is due 30 days prior to the start of principal photography.
The production company must provide proof of general liability insurance with minimum coverage of $1 million, and a workers’ compensation policy pursuant to state law, AND a certificate of automobile liability insurance with a minimums of $250,000/500,000/250,000 coverage, or certification that no employee of the production will drive an automobile as part of the production.
If the film is not bonded, no rebate money will be released until evidence is provided that all Oklahoma crew and vendors have been paid, along with evidence that there are no liens against any production company in the state of Oklahoma.
The project must have a minimum budget of $50,000 and spend a minimum of $25,000 in Oklahoma.
Film and television projects are required to include a screen credit to the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.
Final rebate applications will be accompanied by a CPA’s report, prepared at the expense of the applicant, attesting that the amounts in the application are qualified Oklahoma expenditures (QOE) that comply with the requirements of the Administrative Rules.
For projects with QOE over $250,000, the materiality threshold used for CPA Review is the lesser of 1% of QOE or $100,000. For projects with QOE under $250,000, contact the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.
Projects deemed as child pornography in subsection A 1024.1 of Title 21 of Oklahoma Statutes, or as obscene material as defined in paragraph 1 of subsection B of section 1024.1 of Title 21 of Oklahoma Statutes, do not qualify for the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program.
For information on applying for the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program, please review the Administrative Rules for Application.
Have a question? Please review our FAQ page.
For additional questions about the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program, please contact OF+MO’s Director, Tava Maloy Sofsky, or OF+MO’s Deputy Director, Jeanette Stanton, at 405.522.9635 or email at Tava.Sofsky@TravelOK.com or Jeanette.Stanton@TravelOK.com.
The Oklahoma Film + Music Office is pleased to accept applications for productions seeking to film in Oklahoma and utilize the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program.
If you have any questions, please contact OF+MO’s Director, Tava Maloy Sofsky, or OF+MO’s Deputy Director, Jeanette Stanton, at 405.522.9635 or email at Tava.Sofsky@TravelOK.com or Jeanette.Stanton@TravelOK.com.
The list below indicates the films that have been conditionally pre-qualified to utilize the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program.
This list is subject to change based on compliance with the rebate guidelines.
Crew members interested in applying for a job can send their information and resume to the email address listed with each production.
Oklahoma State University Football (Documentary) (35%)
JM Productions, LLC, dba JM Associates
September 1 – December 31, 2020
Unbreakable Boy (37%)
Unbreakable Boy, LLC
November 19 – December 18, 2020
Deadly Survivor (35%)
December 2-16, 2020
Deadly Dorm (35%)
Deadly Dorm 20, LLC
December 3 – 19, 2020
December 4-22, 2020
God’s Not Dead 4 (37%)
GND4 Film OKC, LLC
January 12 – February 4, 2021
Guardians of Time (35%)
Guardians of Time, LLC
January 17 – February 8, 2021
Help Wanted (35%)
Help Wanted, LLC
January 23 – February 7, 2021
Alien Bible (Series) (35%)
INE Entertainment, LLC
February 20 – April 20, 2021
Black Bags (35%)
Black Bags, LLC
March 9 -25, 2021
American Underdog (37%)
American Underdog, LLC
June 30 – August 13, 2021
Revised December 16, 2020
Point of Purchase Sales Tax Exemption
The Point of Purchase Sales Tax Exemption exempts qualified film productions from paying sales tax on property or services related to the film production. There is no minimum budget or expenditure requirement to take advantage of this incentive. The state’s current sales tax is 4.5%. Local taxes, which vary from city to city and county to county, average between 3% and 4%.
This Point of Purchase Sales Tax Exemption cannot be used in conjunction with the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program.
The Point of Purchase Sales Tax Exemption is facilitated by the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Download and complete the Point of Purchase Sales Tax Exemption form HERE (pdf). Submit to the Oklahoma Tax Commission by mailing the completed form to the following address:
Oklahoma Tax Commission
P.O. Box 26920
Oklahoma City, OK, 73126