Important dates

Intake status: Open. Accepting applications.

Ministry responsible: Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

Overview

The Film and Television Tax Credit (FTTC) offers a refundable Alberta tax credit certificate on eligible Alberta production and labour costs to corporations that produce films, television series and other eligible screen-based productions in the province.

Applicants may apply for either a 22% or 30% tax credit rate up to a maximum of $10 million per production.

Productions that began principal photography between March 1, 2019, and January 27, 2020 are eligible to apply to the program until March 31, 2021. For all other productions, principal photography must not have started before an application is submitted to the program.

Full details can be found in the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

For assistance with locations and logistics services including facilitating scouting within the province, supporting film-friendly initiatives or general information regarding filming in Alberta, contact info@albertafilm.ca or visit Alberta Film.

Additional grants to help support the growth, sustainability, competitiveness and business attraction of Alberta’s cultural industries are available through the Alberta Media Fund. Contact culturalindustries@gov.ab.ca or visit the Alberta Media Fund page for more information.

Tax credit rates

The maximum tax credit certificate amount available to a single production is $10 million.

Applicants can apply for either a 22% or a 30% tax credit certificate.

Basic eligibility requirements for both tax credit rates can be found in the “Eligibility Criteria” section of the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

In addition to the basic eligibility requirements, productions applying for a 30% tax credit must also:

  • be owned (at least 50%) by Alberta-based shareholders; this includes proportionate financial control and proportionate profit participation (for information on completing the calculation, refer to “level of ownership” in the “Definitions” section of the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines)
  • have at least one Alberta-based producer with a single card credit recognition
  • have the production’s copyright held, at least in part, by an Alberta-based individual partnership or corporation at the time of application and for a minimum of 10 years following the completion of production
  • spend at least 60% of the total production costs in Alberta or spend at least 70% of the total production salary or wages on Alberta-based individuals

Applications that do not meet the above criteria may be eligible for a 22% tax credit certificate provided they meet the eligibility criteria for corporations and for productions outlined below.

International treaty co-productions may be eligible for a 30% tax credit certificate if they:

  • have at least one Alberta-based producer with a single card credit recognition
  • spend at least 60% of the total production costs in Alberta or spend at least 70% of the total production salary or wages on Alberta-based individuals

Eligibility

For corporations

To be eligible, a corporation must:

  • be primarily engaged in film, television and/or digital media production
  • be incorporated in Alberta under the Business Corporations Act, registered as an extra-provincial company in Alberta and/or continued as an Alberta company through a Certificate of Continuance
  • not be exempt from paying taxes under the Alberta Corporate Tax Act (or be controlled by a corporation that is)
  • be making an eligible production with total production costs of $499,999 CAD (before GST) or greater
  • not have received funding from the Alberta Production Grant or the Alberta Screen-Based Production Grant

Applications to the program may be submitted by an ineligible parent corporation on behalf of an eligible corporation that will be established in the future.

However, an Authorization Letter will only be issued to an eligible corporation that meets all of the criteria above (for more information on Authorization Letters, refer to the “After You Apply” section in the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines).

For productions

A production is defined as a segment of content intended for broadcast or distribution and may include a single production or a series of related productions that are produced or aired over a common time period.

Eligible productions must be new productions. Repackaging of previously completed productions is not permitted under the program and will be deemed ineligible.

Applicants must also begin principal photography on the production no later than 6 months after an Authorization Letter is issued (for more information on Authorization Letters, refer to the “After You Apply” section in the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines).

Applicants may not be required to meet the above production eligibility criteria if they began principal photography between March 1, 2019, and January 27, 2020.

For more information, refer to the “Transitional Provision” section in the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

Genres of production and platforms not eligible for funding are:

  • news, current events or public affairs programming or a program that includes weather or market reports
  • talk shows
  • a production in respect of a game or contest
  • professional/franchise sporting events or activities (a production that consists of live or pre-recorded coverage of a professional game, match, competition or tournament and/or pre and post-game shows for sports events or activities)
  • a gala presentation or awards show (a production that consists of live or pre-recorded coverage of a gala or awards show, and/or pre and post-game shows for galas or awards shows)
  • a production that solicits funds
  • pornography/adult entertainment
  • advertising
  • reality television
  • a production produced primarily for industrial, corporate or institutional purposes
  • a production, other than documentary, that consists of more than 25% stock footage
  • video games
  • a production for which financial support would, in the opinion of the Minister, be contrary to public policy.*

*Productions deemed contrary to public policy may include those that incite hatred against an identifiable group, or have a dominant characteristic of undue exploitation of sex, violence or of sex and one or more of crime, horror, cruelty or violence.

Additional eligibility requirements can be found in the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

Eligible Alberta production costs

Eligible production costs generally include all expenditures where goods or services are purchased, consumed or used in Alberta and are considered an essential cost incurred as a normal part of business.

Production costs incurred or paid outside of Alberta are not eligible for a tax credit.

For goods or services to be considered an eligible Alberta production cost, the items must meet the following criteria:

  • be listed on the Eligible Alberta Cost Worksheet found on the program webpage
  • be purchased directly from businesses located in Alberta
  • be incurred and fully paid in Alberta during the eligibility period (for more information on the eligibility period, refer to the “Definitions” section in the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines)
  • be directly related to the portion of the production that occurs in Alberta
  • be a considered an essential cost incurred as a normal part of business

Costs incurred by a parent corporation on behalf of a wholly-owned subsidiary that is an eligible corporation may be eligible for a tax credit certificate, provided the parent corporation has been reimbursed by the subsidiary.

Goods or services cannot be purchased from an Alberta company that has sub-contracted the procurement of the goods or services to out-of-province individuals or organizations.

Invoices and/or proof of payment for all production costs must be maintained and provided to the program upon request.

Additional eligibility criteria for salary and wage costs, production cost limitations, and related party transactions are outlined in the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

How to apply

Step 1. Read the guidelines

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines and associated supplementary forms to familiarize themselves with the criteria and requirements.

Step 2. Create a user account and log into the online application portal

All applications must be submitted through the online application portal. When logging into the online application portal for the first time, applicants will be prompted to create a My Alberta Digital ID (MADI) user account with a secure login name and password.

Once the account has been created, applicants will gain access to the online application portal, which hosts the forms and templates required for application submission and tax credit certificate requests.

Online Application Portal

Step 3. Complete and submit an online application

Note: A detailed overview of the information and supporting documentation that applicants are required to provide as part of their application submission is outlined in the “How to Apply” section of the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

Applicants are encouraged to review the Film and Television Tax Credit Application Companion Guide (PDF, 790 KB) before filling out and submitting an application.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all relevant documentation is completed as stated in the guidelines and submitted with the application.

Program staff may request additional documentation and information to assist in the assessment and evaluation of an application. The program staff, however, reserve the right to rely solely on materials initially submitted with the application.

After you apply

Assessment of applications

Once an application is received, the application is reviewed by program staff for completeness.

If an application is deemed complete, it is then screened for eligibility and evaluated.

All eligible applications will be evaluated for the production’s economic impact in Alberta and its benefit to Alberta’s film and television industry.

Applications are then reviewed and approved by the Minister.

Notification and Authorization Letters

Successful applicants will receive an Authorization Letter advising them of the maximum tax credit certificate they may be eligible to receive.

Applicants must respond within 14 days of receiving the Authorization Letter to indicate their acceptance of the letter and to provide any documentation requested in the letter.

If the tax credit certificate amount requested exceeds the available budget, a reduced tax credit certificate amount may be offered. In the event applicants are offered a reduced tax credit certificate amount, program staff will contact them to confirm whether or not they wish to proceed with their application.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing of the result. Applicants are permitted to reapply once within 12 months of receiving notification that their initial application was declined, even if they have already begun principal photography on the production.

Principal photography and production

Once an applicant has received an Authorization Letter, they must begin principal photography on the production no later than 6 months after the date of issuance of the Authorization Letter.

The production must be completed, and final deliverables provided to the program, within 42 months of the date of issuance of the Authorization Letter. These dates will be outlined in the Authorization Letter.

Changes to the production plan

Applicants must notify the program of changes to the Production Plan within 30 days of the change occurring, including information on why the change was made.

Failure to inform the program in the allotted timeframe may result in the revocation of the Authorization Letter.

Additional details can be found in the “After You Apply” section of the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

Requesting a tax credit

Only applicants who are successful and receive an Authorization Letter are eligible to request a tax credit certificate. Tax credit certificates must be requested through the online application portal.

The maximum tax credit certificate amount that can be requested is shown on the Authorization Letter. Requests for a tax credit certificate exceeding the amount shown in the Authorization Letter will not be considered.

Upon receipt of a request for a tax credit certificate, program staff will assess the final project materials for adherence with the Film and Television Tax Credit Act, Regulation and program guidelines.

Program staff may adjust the eligible production costs and the tax credit certificate amount relative to the amount requested.

Required documentation

Applicants are required to submit a final report and audited production cost statement as part of their final project submission and request for a tax credit certificate.

Detailed information on the documentation that a production must submit to the program before requesting a tax credit certificate are outlined in the “Requesting a Tax Credit Certificate” section of the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

Recognition requirements

Applicants are required to fulfil a number of recognition requirements in order to receive a tax credit certificate.

More information on recognition requirements can be found in the “Recognition Requirements” section of the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

Delivery of tax credit certificates

Once a tax credit certificate has been approved, applicants will receive a letter notifying them that their request for a tax credit certificate was processed.

Applicants will then be able to access and download their tax credit certificate through the online application portal.

The applicant is responsible for filing the tax credit certificate as part of their taxes.

A corporation may request that its corporate income tax refund cheque be redirected to its lender as security for bridge financing of its Alberta film or television production. This can be done by including a letter with the corporation’s AT1 form for the respective taxation year that outlines:

  • the name and address of the recipient
  • an acknowledgment that the redirection of the refund does not affect the legal rights of set-off in favour of Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA)

Refer to the Film and Television Tax Credit special notice for additional information on redirecting corporate income tax refunds, including a sample letter.

Holding Requirement

Productions that receive a 30% tax credit certificate are required to have an Alberta-based individual, partnership, or corporation own, at least in part, the copyright of the production, for 10 years after completion of production.

More information on the holding requirement can be found in the “Holding Requirement” section of the Film and Television Tax Credit program guidelines.

Additional program details

For more information on the Film and Television Tax Credit, refer to the:

Supplementary forms

The following forms must be completed and submitted as part of the application and tax credit request.

Links to these supplementary forms will also be made available through the online application portal.

Contact

For questions and to connect with Film and Television Tax Credit program staff:

Email: fttc.program@gov.ab.ca