Ontario Amends Foreign Film Tax Credit Cut for Hollywood

Illustration by: Taylor Callery

Foreign producers already committed to shooting in the province before the government last month cut its tax breaks to 21.5 percent will receive the more generous 25 percent tax credit rate previously in effect.

After hearing from the major Hollywood studios, the Ontario government has amended a current bill to cut savings from the province's foreign film and digital media production tax credit incentives.

The changes, unveiled Monday, will see foreign productions already committed to the province before the government last month cut its tax breaks to 21.5 percent receive the more generous 25 percent tax credit rate previously in effect. The major studios lobbied Ontario's finance department to grandfather in productions already slated to shoot locally before the province cut the foreign film tax credit rate for qualifying production expenditures incurred after April 23, 2015.

Michael Coteau, Ontario's minister of tourism, culture and sport, said in a statement Monday that the film tax credit bill changes will provide a "transition period to ensure that producers who made a significant commitment to Ontario before the introduction of the budget would receive the tax credit rates they expected."

The amendments impact the Ontario production services tax credit and the Ontario computer animation and special effects tax credit, which was cut in value from a 20 percent to an 18 percent refundable tax credit for expenditures incurred after April 23, 2015.

"We have a very long and collaborative history of filming in Ontario, so I very much appreciate that premier [Kathleen] Wynne, Minister Coteau, and their staffs listened to our industry’s concerns and have fashioned a solution that ensures stability and predictability for our sector in Ontario," Steve Papazian, president of worldwide physical production at Warner Bros. Pictures said in his own statement.

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