Show me the money!: Canada is the top film location in the world for the combination of tax incentives, film treaties, talent and currency exchange value. With more and more incentives being offered around the globe, financing and producing films require a high level of foresight, creativity and planning.
Tax Credits: Canada’s federal and provincial governments have offered tax incentives since the early 70’s in regard to tax shelters and since the early 90’s in respect of tax credits. The tax incentives are based on either local labor spend or overall local expenditures. These tax credits vary between provinces and go from 25% to 65% of the local labor spend. Some provinces also provide for production services tax credits where foreign entities can move their production or a part thereof, including post-production or special effects to Canada and obtain tax credits ranging from 16% to 32% of the all-in expenditures in Canada.
Currency Value: The Canadian dollar has fluctuated around 75% of the U.S. dollar and 70% of the Euro. Therefore, Canada offers the advantage that the cost of production are further reduced by this favorable exchange rate for U.S. Studios or European entities.
Film Tax Treaties: Canada also has over 50 film tax treaties including with China, Europe, India and many other countries. As a consequence, Canada has more film co-production treaties with more countries than any other state or country. Producers can use Canada as their “co-production hub”. They can directly co-produce with each other or link up with different producer countries which have a co-production agreement with Canada. This allows them to shoot their films in more than one jurisdiction and still benefit from each local incentive. Given its numerous co-production agreements, Canada remains the world’s most attractive “co-production hub.”
In conclusion, Canada still tops the list as the best overall jurisdiction for film production or co-production. This means that more films can qualify for more subsidies than in any other filming location on earth.
Gascon’s Entertainment Law Group helps to simplify the structuring, financing, filming, distribution, production and exploitation of a film in a tax incentive jurisdiction. We provide services to a network of producers, distributors and financiers worldwide, have comprehensive knowledge of the complex Canadian, U.S. and international film tax incentives and a roster arbitrator for IFTA, WIPO and ICC arbitration. With a wealth of experience in this area, Gascon and Associates L.L.P. offers some of the best legal and business advice in the industry.
By Sam Coppola