How to claim your Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit

Filing your claim

To claim a Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC), a qualified corporation must file a T2 Corporation Income Tax Return with:

  • a completed Form T1131, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit , and
  • the Canadian film or video production certificate "A" (or a copy) issued by the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) or, if applicable, the Certificate of completion "B" (or a copy) issued by CAVCO.

If you file a paper T2 return, send the return and required attachments to your tax centre. A list of the tax centres is available.

If you file your T2 return electronically, submit a paper copy of the certificate issued by CAVCO to the applicable Film Services Unit (FSU). The location of the production corporation's books and records usually determines which FSU will handle the review of your claim. A list of the FSUs is available.

Note
If the books and records are maintained outside of Canada your claim will be reviewed by the Vancouver FSU.

For each production for which you are claiming a CPTC, you have to file a separate Form T1131. We consider each episode in a series to be a production. However, we will accept one form for episodes in a series that are certified as a Canadian film or video productions.

Processing your claim

A properly completed form is important to limit the delays in processing your claim. If Form T1131 and the CAVCO certificate are attached to your corporation's income tax return, your claim is considered complete and the tax centre will immediately forward it to the appropriate FSU where it will be risk assessed and may be selected for audit. If Form T1131 is incomplete or the CAVCO certificate is missing, your claim will be considered incomplete and processing will be delayed. We will request that you provide us with the missing documents before we can proceed with our review of your claim.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is committed to reviewing T2 returns that include a CPTC claim in accordance with the following service standards:

  • When no audit is undertaken, our goal is to review the T2 return within 60 calendar days from the date we receive a complete claim.
  • When an audit is undertaken, our goal is to review the T2 return within 120 calendar days from the date we receive a complete claim.

Our target is to meet these standards at least 90% of the time.

Speeding up the processing of your claim

To help us process your claim as quickly as possible, here are a few tips:

  • Use the latest version of Form T1131.
  • File a complete claim. If your claim is not complete, the processing of your return will be delayed and your claim may be disallowed:
    • Each Form T1131 has to be completed to facilitate the review of your claim. The "cost of production" and the "labour expenditure" shown on Form T1131 should only include the reasonable amounts that you have paid for the production. Furthermore, any assistance received, receivable, or expected to be received for the production (such as provincial tax credit, forgivable loans) reduces your cost of production.
    • It is also important to indicate as "labour expenditure" on Form T1131 only your corporation's share of the salary or wages as well as your corporation's share of each category of remuneration paid to individuals, taxable Canadian corporations (multi-owned and solely owned), and partnerships. If this information is not provided, we will have to request it from you. This may delay the processing of your claim.
  • Keep all financial documents to support your claim. Ensure that invoices you receive from third parties indicate separately the labour component and the other charges such as rental fees, goods provided, travel or administrative expenses, administrative fees, mark-up, etc. Ask your suppliers to make sure that this breakdown is shown on the invoice.
  • If you file a paper T2 return, send the return and required attachments to your tax centre. Filing it with a tax services office could cause processing delays. A list of the tax centres is available.
  • Respond to our request for more information in a timely manner.

If you file a copy of the Part A or Part B certificate instead of the original, you must keep the original document that was issued by CAVCO for future reference. We may request the original document when your claim is audited. You must keep your CAVCO certificates, information slips, documentation, and records relating to your income tax return for at least six years.

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