Amount:

No Fixed Amount

Type of Program:

Tax Credit


Description:

The Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) is a refundable tax credit based upon Ontario qualifying production expenditures (labor, service contracts and tangible property expenditures) incurred by a qualifying corporation with respect to an eligible film or television production.

It can be combined with the federal Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit of 16% of qualified Canadian labor expenditures. 

Comments on Funding:

Funding is 21.5% of all qualifying production expenditures incurred in Ontario. The labor expenditures must be at least 25% of the qualifying production expenditures claimed.

The OPSTC can be combined with the federal Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit of 16% of qualified Canadian labour expenditures. There are no per-project or annual corporate tax credit limits.


When It Ends:

Ongoing

Deadline:

Rolling deadline

Eligibility:

Applicants must:

  • Be a Canadian or foreign-owned corporation
  • Carry on a film or video production, or production services business at a permanent establishment in Ontario
  • files an Ontario corporate tax return;
  • owns the copyright in the eligible production, or contracts directly with the copyright owner to provide production services to an eligible production.
  • not exempt from tax,
  • “controlled directly or indirectly in any manner” by one or more corporations that are exempt from tax,
  • not be a labour-sponsored venture capital corporation for purposes of section 127.4 of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

Applicants cannot claim the Ontario production services tax credit if they claim the Ontario film and television tax credit for that same production for any tax year.

Applications Steps:

The applicant must:

1

Apply to Ontario Creates (an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport) for a certificate of eligibility

2

submit the application via the OntarioCreates Online Application Portal (OAP) ,

3

pay the administration fee by Interac e-transfer to Ontario Creates at the time of submission of the application,

4

file the certificate of eligibility and a completed Schedule 558, Ontario Production Services Tax Credit together with the tax return to Canada Revenue Agency in order to claim the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit.

Fees:

  1. 1
    There is an additional filing fee of $100 for applications that are submitted more than 24 months from the company’s relevant year-end; and a fee of $100 for amended Certificates.
  2. 2
    There is an administration fee for each application for an OPSTC Certificate of Eligibility, payable at the time of submission of the application. The administration fee is calculated as 0.15% of the eligible expenditures for the application. There is a minimum fee of $5,000 per application and a maximum fee of $10,000 per application, as set out in the OPSTC Administration Fee Schedule (see Appendix 4). OPSTC administration fees are used by Ontario Creates to offset its costs of administering the OPSTC.

Documentation Needed:

  • the certificate of eligibility issued by Ontario Creates;
  • the completed Schedule 558, Ontario Production Services Tax Credit;
  • their T2 Corporation Income Tax Return for the year.

Certificate of Eligibility documentation:

  1. 1
    Completed OPSTC Application
  2. 2
    Administration Fee
  3. 3
    Ontario Creates Waiver Declaration & Statement of Intent to Claim COVID-19 Extensions signed by an authorized signing officer (officer and/or director) of the corporation.
  4. 4
    Incorporation documents for the qualifying corporation
  5. 5
    Please complete and sign the Corporate Schedule for the applicant company with all the information requested on the form.
  6. 6
    Production Services Agreement between copyright holder and qualifying corporation. If the production is domestic, please provide a copy of all signed final financing agreements.
  7. 7
    Copy of the Official Designee Affidavit signed for purposes of the Federal Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit, if applicable
  8. 8
    Synopsis for the production (additional material may be requested)
  1. 9
    Chain of title documentation (such as a legal opinion) 
  2. 10
    CAVCO Accreditation Certificate, if available OR CAVCO Part A Certificate, if available (domestic productions) 
  3. 11
    Cast List with names and residency addresses
  4. 12
    Crew List with names and residency addresses
  5. 13
    Production Schedule including start and end dates of preproduction, principal photography and post production.
  6. 14
    Financing Plan for the production (for domestic productions)
  7. 15
    Detailed Cost Report (if production has been completed) OR Production Budget
  8. 16
    Schedule of Final (actual) Ontario Qualifying Production Expenditures (if the production has been completed) OR Schedule of Projected Qualifying Production Expenditures. Please refer to the Qualifying Production Expenditures template posted on Ontario Creates’ website.

Other Things to Note:

The OPSTC requirements are generally “harmonized” with the federal Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit administered by the Canadian Audio Visual Certification Office of the Department of Canadian Heritage (CAVCO) and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 

Covid Related Measures:

Ontario extended deadlines and other measures due to COVID-19 – Due to delays resulting from COVID-19, Ontario is introducing regulatory amendments to temporarily extend some timelines and amend some requirements.

Ontario production services tax credit – For productions for which eligible expenditures were incurred in Ontario in tax years ending in 2020 and 2021, Ontario proposes to temporarily:

  1. 1
    allow certain companies an additional 24 months to meet minimum spending requirements;
  2. 2
    allow certain companies to claim otherwise eligible expenditures incurred in the two tax years before the year in which principal photography begins.

About the author 

Maurice

Maurice (Moe) Muise learned the ins-and-outs of government while an employee of the Government of Canada in Ottawa for 10 years. His current focus is helping small businesses in Ontario to identify and maximize government grants to grow their business.
Click here to learn more about Moe's background and how he can help your business.

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