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Excelsior Jobs Program Offers Tax Credits for Software and Video Game Developers

New York State’s Excelsior Jobs Program provides job creation and investment incentives to companies in specific industries including biotechnology, clean-technology, green technology, financial services. More recently the program was expanded to include entertainment, music, and video game production.

In a nutshell, the Excelsior Jobs Program provides tax credit incentives for specified businesses in New York State that create and maintain new jobs or make investments. The program is administered by Empire State Development (ESD) which approves program applications and issues certificates to qualifying organizations allowing them to claim eligible tax credits.

Software development companies operating in New York State, which under the Excelsior Jobs Program, also include New York State video game developers, can apply for the Excelsior Jobs Program if they create at least five net new jobs or make significant capital investments. The program includes the following four key tax credits which can be claimed over a 10-year period.

  • The Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit: A credit of 6.85 percent of wages per new job.
  • The Excelsior Investment Tax Credit: Valued at two percent of qualified investments.
  • The Excelsior Research and Development Tax Credit: A credit of 50 percent of the Federal Research and Development credit up to three percent of research expenditures in NYS.
  • The Excelsior Real Property Tax Credit: Available to firms locating in certain distressed areas and to firms in targeted industries that meet higher employment and investment thresholds.

For more information about the Excelsior Jobs Program and its eligibility requirements visit the program website.

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Jonathan Medows, CPA

Jonathan Medows is a certified public accountant licensed in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is also a recognized expert in taxation for freelancers and the self-employed—often tapped for his expert knowledge and perspective on self-employment taxation by national and regional publications such as The New York Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes taxation blog, WebCPA, CPA Practice Advisor, and others. You can read some of Jonathan’s press coverage here.

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