British Columbia film and television tax credit

The film and television tax credits are for domestic productions with qualifying levels of Canadian content.

To claim these credits, an eligible production corporation must meet the following criteria:

  • it must be a Canadian-controlled taxable corporation
  • it must have a permanent establishment in British Columbia
  • its activities must primarily be carrying on a film or video production business through a permanent establishment in Canada

The film and television tax credits cannot be claimed if the British Columbia production services tax credit is claimed for that production.

These credits are fully refundable but must first be applied against total taxes payable.

These credits apply to BC labour expenditures. For determining BC labour expenditures, a BC-based individual is a person who is resident in the province on December 31 of the year preceding the end of the tax year for which the tax credit is claimed.

Credits

An eligible production corporation can claim these different credits:

Note

If you are not eligible for, or do not claim the basic tax credit, you cannot claim the regional, distant location, film training, the DAVE tax credits, or the scriptwriting tax credit.

Basic tax credit

This credit is equal to 35% of the qualified BC labour expenditure for the tax year for the production.

Regional tax credit

This credit is equal to one of the following amounts:

  • 12.5% of the qualified BC labour expenditure for the production for the tax year, where a minimum of five days and more than 50% of the total principal photography days in British Columbia are outside of the designated Vancouver area
  • for a production that is intended for television broadcast as a series and that comprises a cycle of at least three episodes, where principal photography of at least three episodes is done in British Columbia outside of the designated Vancouver area, the credit is 12.5% of the qualified BC labour expenditure for the tax year for the qualified episodes done in British Columbia, where a minimum of five days and more than 50% of the total principal photography days in British Columbia are outside of the designated Vancouver area

The credit is prorated for the number of days of principal photography done in British Columbia outside the designated Vancouver area over the total number of days of principal photography done in British Columbia.

Animated productions

For animated productions that start key animation after June 26, 2015, the regional tax credit is 12.5% of the qualified BC labour expenditure prorated by the BC labour expenditure incurred in BC outside of the designated Vancouver area over the total BC labour expenditure for the animated production incurred in the tax year.

There is no minimum number or percentage of principal photography days required, and there is no proration based on principal photography days.

Distant location regional tax credit

Note 

The distant location regional tax credit can only be claimed if the corporation is eligible for, and claiming the regional tax credit.

This credit is available when principal photography is done in British Columbia in a distant location.

The distant location is that part of British Columbia that is not included within the area that extends from the designated Vancouver area north, up to and including Whistler, and east to include Hope.

The credit is equal to one of the following amounts:

  • 6% of the qualified BC labour expenditure for the production for the tax year, where a minimum of one day of principal photography is in a distant location
  • for a production that is intended for television broadcast as a series and that comprises a cycle of at least three episodes, where principal photography of at least three episodes is done in a distant location, the credit is 6% of the qualified BC labour expenditure for the tax year for the qualified episodes determined for the regional tax credit, where a minimum of one day of principal photography is in a distant location

The credit is prorated for the number of days of principal photography done in a distant location, over the total number of days of principal photography done in British Columbia.

Animated productions 

For animated productions that start key animation after June 26, 2015, the distant location regional tax credit is 6% of the qualified BC labour expenditure prorated by the BC labour expenditure incurred in a distant location over the total BC labour expenditure for the animated production incurred in the tax year.

There is no minimum number or percentage of principal photography days required, and there is no proration based on principal photography days.

Film training tax credit

This credit is equal to whichever is less:

  • 3% of the qualified BC labour expenditure for the production for the tax year
  • 30% of the payments (net of assistance) made to the trainees in the tax year while they are participating in the approved training program on the production

Digital animation, visual effects and post-production (DAVE) tax credit

This credit is equal to 16% of BC labour expenditure directly attributable to prescribed digital animation or visual effects activities, including prescribed digital post-production activities for productions that start principal photography after February 28, 2015.

For productions that started principal photography before October 1, 2016, the rate is 17.5%.

Scriptwriting tax credit

This credit is equal to 35% of eligible scriptwriting expenditures directly attributable to developing script material for a production. This includes salary, wages, and other remuneration and reimbursements paid to scriptwriters who are BC-based individuals. The cost of purchasing a published or finished literary work, screenplay, script or script material is not eligible.

The expenses have to be incurred after February 20, 2018, maximum two years before the date principal photography begins, and before the end of the final script stage. The amounts have to be paid no later than 60 days after the end of the tax year in which principal photography began.

Claiming the credits

File the following with your return for the year:

If you file your return electronically, see T2 Attach-a-doc.

If you file a paper return, send the return and required attachments to your tax centre.

On line 671 of Schedule 5, Tax Calculation Supplementary – Corporations, enter the total amount you are claiming.

You must claim these credits no later than 36 months after the end of the tax year.

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