Ontario Cultural Media Tax Credits
Bulletin

January 11, 2017

On October 19, 2016, the federal government announced a change to the federal Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC).  Eligibility for certain Ontario cultural media tax credits for the screen-based industries is affected by this change.  This bulletin provides details about Ontario’s intention to maintain the Province’s current position on eligibility for the affected provincial film and television tax credits and the interactive digital media tax credit.

Overview

The federal government removed talk shows from the list of excluded productions for the CPTC, making this genre eligible for the federal tax credit.  The change is retroactive as it applies to film or video productions for which principal photography began after February 16, 2016. Certain Ontario cultural media tax credits are impacted by the federal change, as eligibility for these credits follows the list of excluded productions under the CPTC.

As part of the Ontario government’s commitment to provide a stable tax credit regime for film and television production, the Province does not intend to mirror the federal change on the eligibility of talk shows.  The Ontario government intends to propose legislative and regulatory changes to maintain Ontario’s current treatment of talk shows as ineligible for the following tax credits:

  • Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE);
  • Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit (OFTTC);
  • Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC); and
  • Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC).

Summary of Proposed Changes

Talk shows were ineligible for the OCASE, OFTTC and OPSTC prior to the federal change announced on October 19, 2016 and websites based on talk shows were also intended to be excluded for purposes of the OIDMTC as per draft regulations posted on November 2, 2015.  

Ontario’s proposed legislative/regulatory changes outlined in this bulletin would preserve the same list of excluded productions that was in effect prior to the federal change.  Subject to legislative and regulatory approval, the proposed amendments to the OCASE, OFTTC, OPSTC and OIDMTC described in this bulletin would be implemented in the Ontario Taxation Act, 2007 and related regulations. 

Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE)

The table below provides the proposed list of excluded productions for the OCASE, which would maintain the same list of excluded productions in effect prior to the federal change announced on October 19, 2016.

OCASE – Excluded Productions

The following productions would be excluded from accessing the OCASE:

  1. news, current events or public affairs programming, or a programme that includes weather or market reports,
  2. a talk show,
  3. a production in respect of a game, questionnaire or contest (other than a production directed primarily at minors),
  4. a sports event or activity,
  5. a gala presentation or an awards show,
  6. a production that solicits funds,
  7. reality television,
  8. pornography,
  9. advertising,
  10. a production produced primarily for industrial, corporate or institutional purposes, or
  11. a production, other than a documentary, all or substantially all of which consists of stock footage.

Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit (OFTTC)

The table below provides the proposed list of excluded productions for the OFTTC, which would maintain the same list of excluded productions in effect prior to the federal change announced on October 19, 2016.

OFTTC – Excluded Productions

The following productions would be excluded from accessing the OFTTC:

  1. news, current events or public affairs programming, or a programme that includes weather or market reports,
  2. a talk show,
  3. a production in respect of a game, questionnaire or contest (other than a production directed primarily at minors),
  4. a sports event or activity,
  5. a gala presentation or an awards show,
  6. a production that solicits funds,
  7. reality television,
  8. pornography,
  9. advertising,
  10. a production produced primarily for industrial, corporate or institutional purposes, or
  11. a production, other than a documentary, all or substantially all of which consists of stock footage.

Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC)

The table below provides the proposed list of excluded productions for the OPSTC, which would maintain the same list of excluded productions in effect prior to the federal change announced on October 19, 2016.

OPSTC – Excluded Productions

The following productions would be excluded from accessing the OPSTC:

  1. news, current events or public affairs programming, or a programme that includes weather or market reports,
  2. a talk show,
  3. a production in respect of a game, questionnaire or contest (other than a production directed primarily at minors),
  4. a sports event or activity,
  5. a gala presentation or an awards show,
  6. a production that solicits funds,
  7. reality television,
  8. pornography,
  9. advertising, or
  10. a production produced primarily for industrial, corporate or institutional purposes.

Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC)

The table below provides the proposed list of productions excluded from the definition of film, television or internet production referred to in the draft regulation for the OIDMTC posted on November 2, 2015.  This list maintains the same exclusions as were proposed in the draft regulation prior to the federal change announced on October 19, 2016.

OIDMTC – Excluded Productions

Websites based on the following productions would be excluded from accessing the OIDMTC:

  1. news, current events or public affairs programming, or a programme that includes weather or market reports,
  2. a talk show,
  3. a production in respect of a game, questionnaire or contest (other than a production directed primarily at minors),
  4. a sports event or activity,
  5. a gala presentation or an awards show,
  6. a production that solicits funds,
  7. reality television,
  8. pornography,
  9. advertising,
  10. a production produced primarily for industrial, corporate or institutional purposes, or
  11. a production, other than a documentary, all or substantially all of which consists of stock footage.

Background

Federal Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) – The CPTC is a 25 per cent refundable tax credit on labour expenditures for film and television productions that meet Canadian content requirements.

Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE) – The OCASE is an 18 per cent refundable tax credit available to corporations on eligible labour expenditures incurred in Ontario for eligible computer animation and special effects activities.

Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit (OFTTC) – The OFTTC is a 35 per cent refundable tax credit available to Canadian-controlled corporations on eligible Ontario labour expenditures for certified domestic film and television productions.

Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) – The OPSTC is a 21.5 per cent refundable tax credit available to corporations on eligible labour and other production expenditures incurred in Ontario for qualifying foreign film and television production services and domestic film and television productions.

Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC) – The OIDMTC is a 35-40 per cent refundable tax credit available to qualifying corporations for expenditures related to the creation, marketing and distribution of eligible interactive digital media products.