Utilize the mountain landscapes and cosmopolitan cities of the Great White North

Besides Canada’s internationally recognized film locations — Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal — the Great White North holds a wealth of movie locations across its picture-perfect provinces. Between the boreal forest and the Toronto skyline, location scouts can create stories of any genre and receive financial relief by way of the Canadian Film Production Tax Credit. Explore tax incentives by the province to determine which film location in Canada is ideal for your motion picture project. While individual provinces offer specified tax incentives, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) provides eligible productions with a fully refundable tax credit available at a rate of 25% of the qualified labor expenditure.

While individual provinces offer specified tax incentives, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) provides eligible productions with a fully refundable tax credit available at a rate of 25% of the qualified labor expenditure.

Alberta

Alberta is a Canadian province located in the West. While its capital city Edmonton is a good option for scouts looking for an urban backdrop, Alberta also has a diverse terrain great for nature shots. The landscape encompasses mountains, prairies, desert badlands and evergreen forests. While the story of Ennis and Jack takes place in Wyoming in 1963, Brokeback Mountain (2005) was almost entirely shot in the Canadian Rockies in Southern Alberta. Other noteworthy blockbusters shot in Alberta are Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), Land (2021) and Inception (2010).

Incentive Type: Refundable Alberta Tax Credit

Incentive Amount: 22% or 30% tax credit rate (International treaty co-productions may be eligible for a 30% tax credit certificate)

Minimum Spend: Spend at least 60% of the total production costs in Alberta or at least 70% of the total production salary or wages on Alberta[1]based individuals.

Bonus: N/A

Audit Requirements: CPA audit required

Sunset Date: N/A

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

British Columbia

British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province. This province is defined by a scenic Pacific coastline and majestic mountain ranges. Vancouver is also located in BC and holds Sony’s headquarters. Shot in Vancouver were Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), Deadpool (2016) and Deadpool 2 (2018). For more picture opportunities, make sure to explore locations outside of Vancouver like Victoria, Okanagan Valley, and Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. If you’re a scout looking for cutting-edge technology for special effects, BC is internationally recognized as a special effects hub.

Incentive Type: Refundable Tax Credit

Incentive Amount: 35% (Basic); 12% (Regional); 6% (Distant location); 30% (Training)

Minimum Spend: Completing the British Columbia Film and Television Tax Credit form (T1196). Attaching the certificate you received for your production from Creative BC. This is either the: Eligibility certificate (if production is not yet complete), or Completion certificate (if production was completed in the tax year). Submitting the T1196 and certificate with your T2 Corporation Income Tax Return to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Bonus: N/A

Audit Requirements: CPA audit required

Sunset Date: You must claim these credits no later than 18 months after the end of the tax year for tax years starting on or after February 19, 2020. It was previously 36 months.

Deadpool 2

Manitoba

Manitoba’s landscape will make your viewers fall in love with nature. Its wide-open spaces are made up of lakes and rivers, mountains and boreal plains. This province lends itself to professionals in the film industry. Winnipeg, Manitoba’s capital city, brings thousands of filmgoers together through its annual Gimli International Film Festival. Films you might have seen filmed in Manitoba are The Lookout (2007), Paycheck (2003) and Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004).

Incentive Type: Refundable Tax Credit

Incentive Amount: 45%

Minimum Spend: 5% (Manitoba Producer); 5% (Rural and Northern); 10% (Frequent filming)

Bonus: N/A

ApplicationFor each eligible film, file the following with your return for the tax year: A Certificate of Completion (if the production was completed in the tax year), or an Advance Certificate of Eligibility (if the production was not completed in the tax year), issued by Manitoba Film and Music.

Credit Based on Production Cost: Corporations may elect to claim a 30% tax credit based on production costs incurred for labour, goods, and services provided in Manitoba that is directly attributable to the production of an eligible film.

Sunset Date: N/A

Goon

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia might be one of the smallest Canadian provinces, but it has a bold and rich in film history. Nova Scotia, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and covered in vibrant green vegetation, has been the source of inspiration for various feature films. It is also the birthplace of Academy Award nominees Elliot Page, Arthur Kennedy, and many other critically acclaimed actors. Some of the award-winning feature films made in the province are Titanic (1997); The Shipping News (2001); Amelia (2009) and The Lighthouse (2019).

Incentive Type: Refundable Tax Credit

Incentive Amount: 50-60%

Minimum Spend: N/A

Bonus: Production companies that shoot more than two films in Nova Scotia over a two year period are eligible for an additional 5% of eligible salaries frequent film bonus on the third and subsequent films.

Application: Enter the amount of the credit earned in the current year on line 565 of Schedule 5, Tax Calculation Supplementary – Corporations.

Credit Based on Production Cost: N/A

Sunset Date: N/A

The Lighthouse

Ontario

Ontario, which borders the United States and the Great Lakes, is home to Canada’s capital Ottawa, and Toronto — one of the largest movie hubs in North America. Notable movies made in Ontario are The Vow (2012), My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) and this classic: X-Men (2000). Ontario will support your big picture project with industry connections, services and financial relief.

Incentive Type: Refundable Tax Credit

Incentive Amount: 

  • For first-time producers only, 40% of the labor expenditures for the first $240,000 for the production and 35% on the balance. An additional 10% of the labour expenditures if the production is a regional Ontario production.
  • For small first-time productions, you can claim a credit equal to the lesser of the labor expenditures, $20,000 if the production is a regional Ontario production or $15,000 if it is not a regional Ontario production. These amounts are reduced by any Ontario film and television tax credits previously received for the production.
  • For consecutive productions, you can claim a credit equal to 35% of the labor expenditures and an additional 10% labour expenditures if the production is a regional Ontario production.

Minimum Spend: N/A

Bonus: 10% — entirely outside or at least 85% of key animation outside the Greater Toronto area, at least five location days in Ontario

Application: Before claiming the credit, you must apply online to Ontario Creates for a certificate of eligibility. If the production is eligible, Ontario Creates will issue a certificate indicating the estimated amount of the tax credit.

Credit Based on Production Cost: N/A

Sunset Date: N/A

Shazam

Quebec

Quebec has a rich film history stemming as far back the late 1800s. In fact, the first public film projection in North America took place in Montreal! This gigantic province is nearly three times the size of Texas, with strong French influence and diverse terrain. Look out for the Place Royale and Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church in Catch Me If You Can (2002); and, Château Frontenac, the streets of Old Québec, Le Capitole theatre, the Limoilou neighborhood and Île d’Orléans in Alfred Hitchcock’s film I Confess (1953).

Incentive Type: Refundable Tax Credit

Incentive Amount: 20% (All-spend Québec production costs including qualified labor and the cost of qualified goods and services)

Minimum Spend: $250,000 CAD

Bonus: 16% Labor-based computer-aided special effects and animation & shooting of scenes in front of a chroma key screen

Application: The corporation must submit to Revenu Québec its tax credit claim for a taxation year

Credit Based on Production Cost: N/A

Sunset Date: N/A

Catch Me If You Can

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