Vancouver and British Columbia’s status as the third largest film & TV production hub in North America is due in part to a stable and diverse suite of tax incentives. Qualifying productions benefit from competitive rates and efficient processing.
Film & TV Production Tax Credits in Vancouver: A Quick Guide
The table below provides a quick overview of the tax relief portfolio available to Film & TV projects (and related industries such as VFX, Animation and VR/AR/MR) that are based in Vancouver or regionally across the province of British Columbia. For a comprehensive guide to all Canadian tax incentives for creative industries, PwC has compiled “The Big Table”, which outlines incentives for film and TV, digital media and animation in Canada. Creative BC administers these credits. Refer to more details in their Tax Incentives Overview along with their tax calculator tool.
A Summary of Film & TV Tax Incentives
|Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) – Federal||Canadian-controlled production companies may claim 25% of qualified labour costs for an eligible Canadian production.||Employed Labour||25%|
|British Columbia Production Services Tax Credit – Provincial||Production companies with permanent operations in British Columbia receive a 28% refundable tax credit on eligible labour costs. The production must also have qualifying levels of Canadian content. Projects are eligible for an additional 6% tax credit of qualified labour costs if more than 50% of the principle photography is outside of the Vancouver area.||Employed Labour||28-34%|
|Federal Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC)||Non-Canadian-controlled production companies may claim 16% of qualified labour costs when when employing Canadian workers.||Employed Labour||16%|
|Film Incentive BC||British Columbia-controlled production companies receive a 35% refundable tax credit on eligible labour costs, limited to 60% of total production costs. As of February 2018, this incentive has been expanded to include scriptwriting.||BC-Employed Labour||35%|
|DAVE||Provides a tax credit of 16% on qualifying labour costs to production companies employing BC talent for post-production and sound.||BC-Employed Labour||16%|
|Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit||A 17.5% tax credit for qualified labour expenses that can be attributed to the production of interactive digital media products. As of Spring 2018, this definition has been expanded to include VR, AR and MR products and software.||BC-Employed Labour||17.5%|
|SR&ED (Scientific Research & Experimental Development)||A federal tax incentive encouraging R&D in Canada. Qualifying non-Canadian companies can claim tax credits of 15% of qualified expenditures, while Canadian companies receive enhanced credits.
Qualifying Canadian and non-Canadian corporations conducting R&D in BC can also benefit from a 10% provincial tax credit.
|Canadian and BC Employed Labour||15%+ (federal)
For more detailed information on tax credits, refer to the provincial agency Creative BC, who administers them.
For comprehensive guides (last published October 2018) refer to PwC’s The Big Table: Film and Video Incentives in Canada 2021.
Looking to set up a Film & TV company in Vancouver?
The Vancouver Film Commission provides tailored services to production companies seeking to set up a production base in Vancouver. These include investment and real estate intelligence, and business networking and development. If you are considering a venture in Vancouver’s vibrant film industry, be sure to take advantage of our decades of experience in global film commissions services.
Contact the Vancouver Film Commission