Hollywood may still be the big player in the film and television industry, but Canada is becoming quite the contender. Vancouver and Toronto have become the major hot spots for productions, but there are companies all across Canada innovating and creating great films. What makes “Hollywood North” so attractive? Perhaps it’s the variety of government incentives available including the SR&ED tax credit for film and television.
The Scientific Research & Experimental Development tax credit is one of the most lucrative government funding programs in the country. Almost $4 billion a year is given out to companies engaging in innovation and R&D activities across a wide spectrum of industries.
The film and television trade may differ greatly from more obvious SR&ED eligible industries (like tool and die or green technology), but the approach to SR&ED is always the same. First, the project must adhere to these 3 criteria:
Perhaps what makes foreign production companies want to move their productions to Canada is that they may be eligible for SR&ED as well. To be eligible, the production must be considered Canadian Content. There is a system used that offers points for certain aspects of the production that is Canadian including cast and crew, post production, how much is spent in Canada, and other criteria.
When you look closely, there are plenty of opportunities for SR&ED in the film and television world. Technology is constantly being improved upon, and hardware frequently needs to be updated to keep current with safety regulations. Here are just a few examples of what may be eligible for film and television SR&ED:
In addition to SR&ED, there are other funding programs available primarily for the film and television industry. Some are provincial, so be sure to check into what your province has to offer.
Here are just a few:
A strong government funding program is one of the keys to keeping this industry on Canadian soil. Should benefits such as SR&ED begin to diminish, the reality is that Canada may see more productions move back down south meaning the economy, especially in BC and Ontario, would see a definite hit.
To see if your film or television activities qualify for Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credits, contact a BeneFACT consultant today.
*The information above is meant for informational purposes only, and not to be used as financial or legal advice.