Federal Tax Credits Update
March 14, 2017
The Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) announced a policy change on March 6 that will allow online-only productions, such as webseries and OTT-exclusive productions, to access the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC).
CPTC-eligible productions must have an agreement in writing with either a CRTC-licensed broadcaster or a Canadian distributor to have the production shown in Canada within the first two years of it being completed and becoming available for commercial exploitation. In the past, CAVCO interpreted “shown in Canada” to include traditional television broadcast, shown in a movie theatre, or distributed on DVD, but not being made available on an online platform. Now productions made available on an acceptable online platform will count.
Before this change, CPTC-funded productions could appear on online platforms, but they also needed traditional exhibition to be eligible. The policy change means that being on an acceptable online platform alone is enough. Consequently, webseries and OTT-exclusives can qualify for the tax credit.