BC Film Tax Credits

Film Incentive BC Overview

Film Incentive BC (FIBC) is designed to promote film, television, digital animation and visual effects production in British Columbia. FIBC provides refundable tax credits to eligible companies that produce eligible film or video productions in BC.

The FIBC program includes five tax credits:

  1. Basic FIBC tax credit (33%*)
  2. Regional tax credit (12.5%)
  3. Distant regional tax credit (6%)
  4. Training tax credit (30%)
  5. Digital animation, visual effects and post-production (DAVE) tax credit (17.5%*)

*For productions with principal photography beginning on or after October 1, 2016, the basic FIBC tax credit will decrease to 28% and the DAVE tax credit rate will decrease to 16%.

Who is Eligible for FIBC?

Eligible applicants are Canadian-controlled film, television and animation production companies that have a permanent establishment in BC. The production company must have incurred qualifying BC labour expenses while making an eligible production. The minimum conditions (from Creative BC) are:

  1. The production corporation claiming the tax credit must be a BC-based Canadian controlled corporation.
  2. The “producer” of the production must be a BC based individual who is a Canadian.
  3. The production must have qualifying levels of Canadian content.
  4. The production corporation must own more than 50% of the copyright in the production.
  5. At least 75% of the principal photography days of the production must be done in BC.
  6. At least 75% of the cost of the production must be paid to BC-based individuals or corporations.
  7. At least 75% of the cost of post-production work for the production must be carried out in BC.
  8. The production must be completed within 24 months of the end of the taxation year in which principal photography began.
  9. There are exceptions for treaty co-productions, interprovincial co-productions and documentary productions.
  10. Some genres are excluded from FIBC such as pornography, talk shows, news, live sports events, game shows, reality television, and advertising.

For full eligibility requirements, please read the BC Ministry of Finance’s bulletin: CIT 009 BC Film and Television Tax Credit.

How to Claim the Credits

In order to claim the FIBC tax credits, your production company must file a corporation income tax return to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). You must also apply to Creative BC to receive an eligibility and completion certificate for your production and attach it to your tax return.

When filing taxes, your company may claim a percentage of the BC labour costs incurred while making a production. The credits are applied to reduce the taxes payable, and any remaining balance is paid to the company. The credits must be claimed within 36 months after the end of your taxation year.

Detailed information on how to claim the credits is available on the Ministry of Finance page on Film and Television Tax Credit.

What is the PSTC?

The Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC), like FIBC, is a labour-based credit intended to promote film production in BC. However, it has no Canadian content requirements and is available to both international and domestic production companies producing in BC.

A production company may only access either FIBC or the PSTC for a production but not both. For detailed information, refer to Creative BC’s summary of the PSTC.

Get the Help of a Film Production Accountant

Hall & Company is an accounting firm specializing in Canadian film production accounting, with a strong understand of federal and BC film tax credits. If you are in need of a film accountant or have questions about the film tax credits available to you, send us a message and we’d be happy to hear more about your project.

Additional Resources

BC Ministry of Finance – Film and Television Tax Credit

Creative BC – BC Tax Credits

 

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