Film tax credits, incentives, vary from province to province

Global News

HALIFAX – The film industry is a competitive one, and it’s made even more competitive by the varying tax credit incentives that are offered by different provincial governments.

Three examples show the difference, and similarities, in the incentives offered across the country.

Manitoba boasts that it has the best tax incentives in Canada, offering two options to filmmakers who come to the province.

Filmmakers who decide to produce their film project in Manitoba are eligible for up to 65 per cent in tax credits on salaries. The tax credit starts at a 50 per cent base rate. The province offers incentives for working with a Manitoba producer, filming three movies in two years, and using rural locations for shooting that could bring the total tax credit to 65 per cent.

Filmmakers can alternatively decide to apply for the 30 per cent tax credit on the cost of their production.

British Columbia is considered one of the best film production centres and attracts productions from all over. But it’s film tax credit system –once considered the most competitive in North America — has been modified in recent years.

Despite that, industry analysts say that 2015 could be one of the best years for the British Columbia Film and Television Industry.

The province of B.C. offers filmmakers a base tax credit of 35 per cent. Filmmakers who film outside of Vancouver’s centre are eligible for an extra 12.5 per cent credit. If filmmakers choose a distant location within B.C. to do their shooting, they can qualify for another 6 per cent. There is also a credit available if productions employ B.C.-based trainees, and use provincially based animation and digital effects companies.

The Government of Nova Scotia, after its major changes to the Film Tax Credit, is now offering a 25 per cent refundable tax credit on salaries. The remaining 75 per cent credit is refundable on payment of corporate income tax.

Before the 2015-2016 budget was announced last week, filmmakers had 24-million dollars available as an incentive for coming to Nova Scotia. Now, only 6-million dollars is in the fund as financing for projects.

A rally in support of the Nova Scotia film industry will happen outside of Province House on Wednesday at 12:00, noon.

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