CAVCO Public Notice 2016-01 – Call for Comments

Gatineau, February 18, 2016

Definitions for Ineligible Genres of Production for the Purpose of the Federal Film or Video Production Tax Credit Programs

Purpose

  1. The purpose of this public notice is to seek written comments on proposed modifications to definitions relevant to the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) and the Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC).
  2. The definitions have been modified for the purpose of bringing more clarity to the question of what constitutes an ineligible production for the CPTC and the PSTC.
  3. In addition, to better reflect the fact that a production’s eligibility with respect to genre is assessed solely on whether or not the production falls under one of the prescribed ineligible genres listed in the Income Tax Regulations (Regulations), the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) is proposing to remove definitions for all other genres included in its program guidelines since 2010.

Relevant Clauses of the Income Tax Regulations for the CPTC

  1. A production will not qualify as a "Canadian film or video production" if it is an "excluded production" as defined in subsection 1106(1) of the Regulations. Paragraph (b) of this definition lists 11 genres of production which are ineligible for the CPTC. Below is the proposed definition for each ineligible genre, and a few illustrative examples.

Proposed Definitions

  1. CAVCO is seeking comments on the revised definitions of ineligible genres as proposed below. This does not modify the types of ineligible genres found in the Regulations.

    Note: All examples used in this public notice are non-Canadian examples.

    (i) News, current events or public affairs programming, or a program that includes weather or market reports

    A production that consists of:

    • newscasts, newsbreaks and headlines, programs reporting on local, regional, national, and international issues and events;
    • weather reports, market reports, sports news, community news, entertainment news, and other related features or segments contained within news programs;
    • reporting or investigative journalism on any subject of timely and current interest; or
    • interviews, discussions, or reporting on public policies or programs, public services, social, political and/or economic issues.

    Such a production could feature a variety of formats including live or pre-recorded news reporting, interviews, debates, one-on-one or round-table discussions, open forums and panel discussions, and may be on any topic including sports, arts and entertainment, business, politics, health, and science and technology.

    Examples: local/national news shows, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, Entertainment Tonight, France 24, Télématin.

    (ii) A talk show

    A production that consists of:

    • one or more hosts and guests who express their personal or professional viewpoints, opinions, or experiences on any subject.

    Such a production may:

    • include interviews, panel discussions, or debates;
    • be live or pre-recorded, with or without a live audience;
    • consist purely of "talk" elements, or may incorporate variety or musical acts, comedy routines, information segments, and/or news.

    Examples: Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, Live with Kelly & Michael, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Jim Rome Show, Apostrophes, On n’est pas couché, Ce soir ou jamais.

    (iii) A production in respect of a game, questionnaire or contest (other than a production directed primarily at minors)

    A production that includes:

    • individuals or teams participating in a game, quiz, or contest, or completing a task that has an objective outcome (e.g. right/wrong, complete/incomplete, fastest, highest score) to determine a winner.

    For clarity:

    • Whether or not a prize is awarded to the winner is not a consideration in determining if a production is eligible.
    • Productions that meet this definition but that also include character development over the course of a series (e.g., by starting with a group of contestants who are competing against each other and who are eliminated as the series progresses) are generally considered to be eligible.
    • Productions that meet the definition but that are directed primarily at minors are also eligible.

    Examples of productions that are ineligible: Jeopardy, The Price is Right, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Family Feud, Let’s Make a Deal, Deal or No Deal, American Gladiators, Wipeout, Fear Factor, The Singing Bee, The Dating Game, Des chiffres et des lettres, Tout le monde veut prendre sa place.

    (iv) A sports event or activity

    A production that consists of:

    • live or pre-recorded coverage of a professional or amateur game, match, competition, or tournament; and/or
    • pre- and post-game shows for sports events or activities.

    Examples: coverage of any sanctioned professional or amateur sporting event such as NHL hockey games, the Olympics, or local sporting events; poker tournaments.

    (v) A gala presentation or an awards show

    A production that consists of:

    • special events, ceremonies, or pageants, which may include the presentation of any type of award or recognition.

    Examples: The Academy Awards, The Tony Awards, Cérémonie des César, gala dinners, gala screenings, gala performances, sports awards, Miss America, Les Victoires de la Musique.

    (vi) A production that solicits funds

    A production that, irrespective of content:

    • includes a segment of any length aimed at raising funds or soliciting contributions, including through a direct request to viewers.

    Examples: Hope for Haiti Now telethon, Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon, Le Téléthon de l’Association française contre les myopathies.

    (vii) Reality television

    A production that consists of:

    • scenes recorded on private or public authority surveillance equipment; or
    • the recording of any sort of official proceedings such as live or live-to-tape coverage of actual courtroom trials, or governmental proceedings.
    (viii) Pornography

    CAVCO is not proposing modifications to this definition.

    (ix) Advertising

    Refer to Public Notice 2016-02 for more details on this genre.

    (x) A production produced primarily for industrial, corporate or institutional purposes

    A production made to:

    • meet the specific industrial, corporate or institutional needs of a business, organization, or industrial sector; or
    • advocate activities of government or non-government organizations. 

    Examples: corporate training videos, public service announcements, promotional videos.

    (xi) A production, other than a documentary, all or substantially all of which consists of stock footage

    A production, other than a documentary, all or substantially all of which consists of stock footage, including repackaged or adapted versions of previously produced productions, unless such footage originated from the same production entity and constitutes a "best-of" production.

Definitions of Productions that are not Eligible Productions for the PSTC

  1. Subsection 9300(2) of the Regulations lists 10 genres of production that are not eligible for the PSTC. These genres and their definitions are the same as for the CPTC, with the following two exceptions:
    1. The category "a production, other than a documentary, all or substantially all of which consists of stock footage" is not on the list.
    2. The category "a production in respect of a game, questionnaire, or contest" does not include the exception found in the CPTC for productions directed primarily at minors.

Coming Into Force

  1. CAVCO will set a coming into force date based on the start date of principal photography when final versions of the definitions are published.

Call for Comments

  1. CAVCO requests written comments on these definitions. All comments must be received by CAVCO by May 18, 2016. Submissions must include the name of the person or organization providing comments. Paragraphs should be numbered. All comments received will be given due consideration.
  2. Please submit your comments by email at PCH.bcpac-cavco.PCH@canada.ca to the attention of the Director, CAVCO.
  3. Any questions about this public notice can be sent to CAVCO by email (PCH.bcpac-cavco.PCH@canada.ca) or you may call us toll-free at 1-888-433-2200 (teletypewriter toll-free: 1-888-997-3123).
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