Backgrounder - Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit

  • Introduced in 1995, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) encourages the creation of Canadian film and television programming and the development of an active domestic independent production sector.
  • The CPTC is governed by section 125.4 of the Income Tax Act (ITA) and section 1106 of the Income Tax Regulations (ITR).
  • The Minister's authority under the ITA has been delegated according to legal rules of interpretation and a delegation instrument, to a senior official of Canadian Heritage.
  • The Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) co-administer the CPTC.

Responsibilities of CAVCO and the CRA

  • CAVCO is responsible for making evaluations and recommendations to certify audio-visual productions.
  • The applicant can submit the certificate issued by CAVCO to the CRA when filing his or her income tax return in order to claim the tax credit.
  • The CRA is responsible for reviewing tax returns and issuing refunds to the applicant.

Challenge a certification decision

In cases where CAVCO determines that the production does not meet the requirements of the Income Tax Act or Income Tax Regulations, CAVCO notifies the applicant of the ineligibility of their production and provides the applicant with a 30-day notice period to submit any new information. Upon receipt of new information, CAVCO reviews it and forms a final recommendation.

The Income Tax Act does not provide for an appeal mechanism to challenge a certification decision. An applicant may challenge the final decision by filing a judicial review application with the Federal Court of Canada.

Changes to program guidelines

When deemed appropriate, CAVCO posts proposals to clarify or modify its program guidelines through call-for-comments public notices, a process also used by the Canada Revenue Agency.

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