Canadian Film Tax Credit – Let Movie & Animation Financing Refund Loans Enhance Your Project

Updated: June 12, 2011

The reality is, and of course we're sorry (kind of ...) that more and more U.S. regions are eliminating or downsizing the film and animation tax credits that can often make or break your projects final success. In fact, using Hollywood California as an example, as at June 2011 the state has in fact used up all their tax credits for the remainder of the year! No wonder why U.S. and of course Canadian producers and owners realize the Canadian system is still committed to job creation and support of the industry.

Ours has never been to debate the merits of the Canadian film tax credit (animation and TV included of course)... Ours has been to promote it and ensure our clients are using it. In Canada , aka Hollywood North the tax credits are viewed in all provinces as great economic and tourism development, and, as we said , we're not arguing!

In Canada the film, TV, movie and animation credits can generally get up to 40% of your project financed. That of course leaves the other 60% up to you, but what a great head start!

Although most producers and owners think of the Canadian film tax credit in terms of movies/ film etc. the Digital media area is probably growing the quickest. 6 of Canada's ten provinces already have a separate special digital media tax credit in place.

B.C. has a very strong and growing animation environment (could that be because of its proximity to California?!) and provides 17 1/2% credit to your total labour cost on any project.

While most U.S. and Canadian producers always tend to think in terms of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver as major film and production and animation centres the reality is currently that the most lucrative digital tax credit is out of Nova Scotia. They have a very simple formula, 50% of expenditures that qualify under the legislation, or 25% of your total budget. Your tax credit accountant and Canadian business financing advisor can assist you in maximizing what works best for your project.

Quebec also increased and broadened its tax credits, with 25% of all expenditures qualifying for a Canadian film tax credit refund. When you compliment this with the federal Productions Services tax credit an additional 16% of financing becomes available.

Naturally there are all sorts of nuances in maximizing and qualifying for your tax credits. Producers should in general always set up a special purpose entity and typically should own the copyright or content.

Your tax credits in Canada can be financed, either through traditional sources, or independent firms specializing in this type of financing, also at the same time usually helping you maximize the credits. Financing is available on a ‘when completed ' basis, or, often more desirable, on an accrual basis as you start to spend on your project. Bottom line: Cash flow and working capital for your project.

So, as we said your challenge is equity, debt, gap pre -sales, etc. But let tax credits be the final component to your projects success.

If you choose you could creatively carve out the tax credit from your overall finance plan and enhance the equity position, of simply finance the credit refund on its own. Use your tax credit to either attract an investor, or as a stand alone component.

Featured Research
  • Executive Brief: Mitigate Avaya risk and future-proof your customer experience

    When Avaya filed for bankruptcy, it ended months of speculation. However, the company’s ongoing financial instability has left many businesses in a precarious position. If you’re concerned about your future with Avaya, don’t wait around to see what long-term options are available to modernize your customer engagement center. more

  • Harnessing the Power of Speech Analytics

    The conversations between your customers and agents contain invaluable insights—if you have the right tools to easily interpret and act on this dialogue. Unfortunately, most organizations waste time manually mining only a subset of customer interaction data, or worse yet, do nothing with it at all. Speech analytics is an incredibly powerful tool for contact center leaders. It easily delivers real-time visibility into the full customer journey and agent responses, which are essential for driving higher customer satisfaction and business success. more

  • Budgeting for BI in 2018

    Is your business ready for Business Intelligence (BI) software? As BI software continues to improve, more businesses are moving to adopt BI sooner rather than later. Before you make that commitment though, it pays to figure out exactly how much money it will cost you to implement. more

  • Gartner Report: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Infrastructure, Worldw...

    The 2017 Magic Quadrant provides Gartner’s annual analysis of the contact center infrastructure vendors. The report examines the innovations driving the market and compares vendors based on completeness of vision and ability to execute. more

  • Forrester Report: Artificial Intelligence with the Human Touch

    Artificial intelligence (AI) can’t replicate the human touch, but it can ease your agents’ burden by handling many simple, repetitive requests. A new Forrester Consulting paper offers a look at the strengths and weaknesses of both AI and humans independently, yet how blending them together can give your customers the seamless end-to-end experience they expect. more