Manitoba extends industry tax credits, expands digital incentive

The tax incentives for film and video production and interactive digital media production have been extended to 2016, with four enhancements to the digital media incentive.

The Manitoba government on Tuesday extended the Manitoba Film and Video Tax Credit and the Manitoba Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (MIDMTC) to 2016.

The government is also sweetening the MIDMTC to make it more competitive nationally for convergent and interactive productions.

Companies will now be able to claim up to $100,000 in eligible marketing and distribution expenses that are directly attributable to that project; and CMF financial support that is recoupable or repayable won’t be classed as “government assistance.”

The province is also increasing the flexibility in the types of commercialization projects that will be eligible for the tax credit.

The enhancements are expected to be retroactive to projects that began production after Jan. 1 of this year.

Updated application guidelines for the program are expected to be released this summer.

The film and video tax credit was set to expire March 1, 2014, while the MIDMTC was set to expire Dec. 31, 2013.

The film and video tax credit is a 45% refundable incentive on renumeration paid to Manitobans. It also offers a 10% frequent filming bonus, a 5% Manitoba producer bonus and 5% rural and northern bonus on eligible salaries.

The MIDMTC is equal to 40% labour costs on interactive digital media projets, to a maximum of $500,000.

The tax credit extensions and enhancements have been well-received by the province’s industry, which in 2011-2012 generated $71 million in film and TV production, according to the CMPA.

“The extension of the Film and Video Tax Credit and the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit to 2016 signals the Manitoba government’s ongoing support to develop the media production industry with regard to film, television and convergent projects. We’re very pleased that Manitoba is responsive to the needs of our sector as it adapts to the rapidly changing media landscape,” said On Screen Manitoba exec director Nicole Matiation in a statement.

“We are encouraged by the province’s ongoing recognition of the importance of the digital media, film and television industry to the Manitoba economy by extending and enhancing the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit. It positions us very favourably in a global industry where Manitoba companies consistently deliver world-class projects,” said Tactica Interactive president Kevin Glaser in his own statement.

According to a release from On Screen Manitoba, the province’s industry employs around 1200 people full-time, and in the last 10 years has generated more than $1 billion of production volume.