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Canada Lures Hollywood Producers With Incentives Stacked Upon Incentives

Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and bigger in area than the U.S., Canada offers boundless opportunities to filmmakers – especially film studios, TV networks, streaming services, and production companies.

Not only do its varied landscapes offer practically any outdoor look required for location shooting, but its urban areas can double for many American and European cities. Perhaps most important of all, the country’s 16% tax incentive can be stacked with multiple regional incentives offered by its provinces and territories.

Specifically, Canada’s national incentive offers a refundable tax credit on Canadian labor. There are no caps. The minimum spend required to qualify varies by type of project: 1 million Canadian dollars, or about $800,000 in U.S. currency, for feature films; 100,000 Canadian dollars, or about $80,000 in U.S. currency, for TV episodes of 30 minutes or less; and 200,000 Canadian dollars, or about $160,000 in U.S. currency, for TV episodes greater than 30 minutes.

One of the financial attractions that make Canada so appealing is the fact that the national incentive can be added to a wide variety of regional incentives, including the following:

    • Alberta: 25-30% Grant
    • British Columbia: 28% Refundable Tax Credit
    • Manitoba: 30-50% Refundable Tax Credit
    • Newfoundland and Labrador: 40% Refundable Tax Credit
    • New Brunswick: 25-40% Grant
    • Northwest Territories: 25-35% Rebate
    • Nova Scotia 26-32% Grant
    • Ontario: 21.5% Refundable Tax Credit
    • Quebec:  20% Refundable Tax Credit
    • Saskatchewan: 25-30% Grant
    • Yukon: 25% Rebate

Feature films released this year that shot in Canada include “It,” “Flatliners,” “The Shape of Water” and “mother!” TV series that recently began shooting in Canada and are still shooting there include “Star Trek: Discovery,” “The Good Doctor” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

16% Refundable credit on Canadian labor
20%-50% Range of refundable tax credits offered by provinces and territories
$800k Minimum spend for films ($80k-$160k for TV episodes)
Information courtesy of EP Financial Solutions, a production incentive consulting and financial services company.

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