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Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit (OFTTC)

Note: The Province introduced certain temporary legislative and regulatory amendments to Ontario’s media tax credits to help companies maintain their tax credit eligibility in view of disruptions and delays caused by COVID-19. The changes to the OFTTC are part of an amendment to the Regulation which was enacted on February 12, 2021.

These amendments provide temporary extensions to the following requirements:

     a) the timeline to apply for a Letter of Confirmation;
     b) the timeline to have the production shown in Ontario; and
     c) the period to claim expenditures incurred prior to principal photography or key animation.

What Is It?

The OFTTC is a refundable tax credit based upon eligible Ontario labour expenditures incurred by a qualifying production company with respect to an eligible Ontario production. The OFTTC is generally “harmonized” with the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

How Much Is The Tax Credit?

The OFTTC is generally calculated as 35% of the eligible Ontario labour expenditures incurred by a qualifying production company with respect to an eligible Ontario production. An enhanced credit rate of 40% on the first $240,000 of qualifying labour expenditure is available for first-time producers. Productions that are shot in Ontario entirely outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), or that have at least five location days in Ontario (or in the case of a television series, the number of location days is at least equal to the number of episodes), and at least 85% of the location days in Ontario are outside the GTA, receive a 10% bonus on all Ontario labour expenditures incurred for the production. Wholly animated productions which create at least 85% of key animation in Ontario outside of the GTA qualify for the regional bonus.

Who Is Eligible?

A qualifying production company is a Canadian corporation which is Canadian-controlled, has a permanent establishment in Ontario, and files an Ontario corporate tax return. In addition, the individual producer of the production must have been an Ontario resident for tax purposes at the end of both of the two calendar years prior to commencement of principal photography.

An eligible Ontario production is a production which:

  • has six Canadian content points (unless it is an official treaty co-production)
  • is predominantly shot and posted in Ontario (Note: There are exceptions for documentaries, interprovincial co-productions and international treaty co-productions)
  • spends at least 75% of its total final costs on Ontario expenditures
  • if for television, is suitable for a minimum 30-minute time slot (except children’s programming)
  • has an agreement with an Ontario-based distributor or a Canadian broadcaster to be shown in Ontario within two years of completion (broadcast must occur between 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., except for children’s programming)
  • is not in an excluded genre (such as news or current affairs, talk shows, game shows, sports shows, awards shows, fundraising shows, reality television)

Eligible Ontario labour expenditures consist of:

  1. Salaries and wages paid to Ontario residents;
  2. Remuneration paid to:
    1. corporations that are personal service companies subject to tax in Ontario for the services of an Ontario resident,
    2. sole proprietors or freelancers subject to tax in Ontario
    3. partnerships, for the services of a partner subject to tax in Ontario, and
    4. taxable Canadian corporations with a permanent establishment in Ontario for the services of their employee(s) who are Ontario residents; and
  3. Reimbursements by a wholly-owned production company to its parent company for labour expenditures, as above, that were paid by the parent company on behalf of the production company.

Ontario residents are individuals who were resident in Ontario for tax purposes at the end of the calendar year prior to commencement of principal photography. The labour expenditures of a corporation for the purposes of the OFTTC must be reasonable and must be included in the cost of the production.

Labour expenditures must not only be incurred but must also be paid in the taxation year (or within 60 days after the end of the taxation year) for which they are being claimed.

Eligible labour expenditures include those incurred from the production commencement time (PCT) until the end of post-production. Productions can claim eligible labour expenditures as early as two years prior to the commencement of principal photography. This may include labour expenditures for script development.

To determine the PCT date, the applicant must take the earlier of a) or b):

  1. the commencement of principal photography (PP);
  2. the latest of:
    1. the date the first labour expenses for script material were incurred by the applicant (or their parent corporation)
    2. the date the applicant (or their parent corporation) acquired the property on which the production is based;
    3. two years before commencement of principal photography

How Is The Credit Administered?

The OFTTC is jointly administered by Ontario Creates - an agency of the Government of Ontario – and the Canada Revenue Agency. Application is made to Ontario Creates for a certificate of eligibility, which the production company files with the Canada Revenue Agency together with its tax return in order to claim the OFTTC. The amount of the credit, net of any Ontario taxes owing, will be paid to the qualifying corporation. If the qualifying corporation does not owe any taxes, the full amount will be paid out.


Note: This sheet is a general guide and may not be relied upon in order to determine eligibility or the amount of an anticipated credit. Please consult the OFTTC legislation and regulation for further details.

As of November 2021


Please see information on CRA’s website.

1. Are costs for medical and/or health and safety personnel required due to COVID-19 eligible costs for tax credits? What about expenses related to testing for COVID-19 and extra cleaning and sanitation costs?
2. Are costs for personal protective equipment (PPE) required due to COVID-19 eligible costs for tax credits?
3. Are suspension, severance or relief payments eligible expenditures for tax credits? What about retention payments to induce an individual to remain with the production while it is stalled?
4. Will deposits or advances paid to vendors be eligible costs for tax credits where those amounts have been forfeited due to COVID-19?
5. Is CEWS considered assistance for purposes of the Ontario tax credits?
6. My production has stalled and will never be completed because of COVID-19. Can I still claim the OFTTC on the expenditures my company incurred before we were shut down?
7. My production has been completed but my company had to make changes due to COVID-19 so we weren’t able to meet all of the tax credit eligibility requirements. Have any eligibility requirements been waived due to COVID-19?

FAQs as of March 2022

This version of the FAQs has been updated to provide information regarding the filing of certificates of eligibility with CRA (see # 17).

Numbering may have changed.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • In the case of an inter-provincial co-production, the OFTTC requirements that 85% of the shooting/key animation take place in Ontario and that 95% of the cost of post-production be carried out in Ontario are waived. The production must still meet all the other OFTTC requirements.

    There must be a co-production agreement in place between the Ontario qualifying corporation and a Canadian corporation from another province. In addition, there must be an individual Ontario producer and a producer who is resident in the other provincial jurisdiction who perform producer functions on behalf of each of the coproducing companies. Each of the parties must exercise full responsibility, authority and control over their side of the co-production. At least 20% of the costs of the production must be borne by the Ontario producer.

    The OFTTC is based on Ontario expenditures, so it is preferable to have separate corporations in each jurisdiction. Although a jointly-owned production company is eligible for the OFTTC, it may be more difficult to identify the Ontario co-producer’s costs with such a structure. It is therefore not recommended as a co-production structure since it can be problematic for audit purposes.

    Other provinces may have further requirements, so please check with the relevant entities in those jurisdictions.

  • No, Ontario does not follow Notice 2017-01 for purposes of determining whether a production has met the “shown in Ontario” requirement for the OFTTC. Under the OFTTC Regulation (O. Reg. 37/09) section 27(2) (d) a film or television production is an excluded production:

    if there is no agreement in writing, for consideration at fair market value, to have the production shown in Ontario within the two-year period that begins at the earliest time after the production is completed that the production is commercially exploitable,

    i) with a corporation having a permanent establishment in Ontario that is a Canadian and is a distributor of film or television productions, or
    ii) with a Canadian broadcaster that is not associated with the corporation.

    To meet this shown in Ontario requirement under the OFTTC, a production must be broadcast on television (including licensed video-on-demand (VOD) services), shown theatrically, or distributed on DVD. Productions shown exclusively on online platforms are not eligible for the OFTTC. This differs from the federal Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit administered by CAVCO.

    Public Notice 2017-01

  • Yes, Ontario Creates uses these definitions in determining if a production is an excluded production by virtue of being one of the genres listed in the OFTTC and OPSTC Regulation (O. Reg 37/09) section 27(2) h and section 31 paragraph 4, or section 90(11) of the Taxation Act, 2007 for OCASE. While Ontario Creates uses the same definitions, Ontario Creates will conduct our own assessment of a production’s genre.

    Public Notice 2017-02

    Public Notice 2017-03

  • Talk shows have always been and continue to be ineligible for all Ontario tax credits, including the OFTTC, OPSTC, OCASE and OIDMTC. Talk shows are only eligible for the federal credit, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit administered by CAVCO, where principal photography began after February 16, 2016. Talk shows are not eligible for the federal Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit administered by CAVCO.

  • In order to receive the OFTTC, a production must have no more than 25% non-Ontario costs. Non-Ontario costs are costs not paid to either Ontario residents or corporations with a permanent establishment in Ontario. Ontario costs are those that are paid to Ontario-based individuals or corporations for goods or services provided by the Ontario-based individuals or corporations in the course of carrying on their businesses at permanent establishments in Ontario.

    Non-Ontario costs are not necessarily determined the same way as non-Canadian costs are for the federal credit. For instance, per diems that are spent outside of Ontario are non-Ontario costs unless those amounts were included in the crew agreements for Ontario residents as taxable income. Hotel expenses outside of Ontario are non-Ontario costs, even if the person who stayed in the room is an Ontario resident.

    Even if a production company paid an Ontario travel agent to assist in the booking of the hotel room outside of Ontario, this would still be considered a non-Ontario cost as the travel agent is in the business of finding the room and making the connections, but they are not in the business of renting and providing the actual hotel room. The same principle would apply if the production company was using an Ontario travel agent to assist with booking flights or rental cars outside of Ontario. Again, to be considered an Ontario cost, the expenditure must be paid to an Ontario-based individual or corporation for goods or services that that Ontario-based individual or corporation provides in the course of carrying out their business at a fixed place of business in Ontario. Production companies may not insert an Ontario company as a middleman if that company is in a different line of business in order to convert the expenditure into an Ontario cost.

    Where travel arrangements for flights are booked online (ie via an airline’s website or on websites such as whether these expenditures would be considered as Ontario or non-Ontario costs would be a matter of fact. Questions that production companies should consider: Is the company in the business of providing that specific good or service (ie flight, hotel room, etc) or are they the party that makes the arrangements but payment must be made to a non-Ontario entity for the good or service when you/your crew arrive at your destination? If the company is in the business of providing that specific good or service, are they in fact carrying on their business at a permanent establishment (ie fixed place of business) in Ontario where they provide these goods and services? Does the airline you are purchasing flights from have an office in Ontario?

    If a production company is unsure, it should be conservative in its estimates and treat such costs as non-Ontario costs. In the event that the applicant for the OFTTC has treated these types of expenditures as Ontario costs, when Ontario Creates reviews the application, if it appears that considering these expenses as non-Ontario costs would put the production offside (ie the total non-Ontario costs would be more than 25% of the overall final cost), Ontario Creates will consult with CRA on the facts of the case to determine if the costs in each specific fact pattern are Ontario or non-Ontario costs.

  • Under film and television tax credits, eligible labour expenditures are based on residency in Ontario for purposes of the provincial credits, and residency in Canada for purposes of the federal credits. CRA provides guidelines to assist companies in determining whether individuals are resident in Canada. An individual may be a “factual resident” or a “deemed resident” of Canada. Factual residents of Canada are those who have established significant residential, economic and social ties to Canada. They are subject to Canadian and provincial/territorial income tax on worldwide income throughout the year. Labour expenditures paid to factual residents may qualify for both federal and provincial film and media tax credits. CRA’s guidelines have a list of documents that are evidence of strong ties to Canada for purposes of establishing if someone is a factual resident of Canada. For more information see Residency status determination. The same principles can be applied in determining if an individual is Ontario-based individual or a resident of another Canadian province.

    This is distinguished from “deemed residents” who have not established significant ties in Canada but were in Canada for 183 days or more in a calendar year. They are subject to Canadian income tax on worldwide income throughout the year and are subject to federal surtax instead of provincial tax. For more information see Residency status determination. Labour expenditures paid to “deemed residents” may qualify for federal film and television tax credits but do not qualify for provincial film and television tax credits.

  • A production will qualify as a regional Ontario production if:

    1. all of the Ontario Principal Photography takes place outside the Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto, Durham, Halton, Peel and York);
    2. where Principal Photography in Ontario is done partly inside the GTA and partly outside the GTA, if:
      1. there are at least 5 Ontario location days* (or for a TV series, the number of Ontario location days at least equals the number of episodes in the production);
      2. at least 85% of the location days in Ontario are outside the Greater Toronto Area;
    3. in the case of entirely animated productions, at least 85% of their key animation days in Ontario take place outside of the Greater Toronto Area.

    When an applicant is claiming the regional bonus, we will not issue a Certificate of Eligibility until principal photography or key animation has been completed. We will take a very close look at the shoot day ratio, and will want to see all the daily production reports (DPRs), or call sheets if DPRs weren’t used, or the contract with the animation facility. If the production does not have DPRs or call sheets, other items that might also help to prove where shooting took place include: location permits, invoices, etc.

    * Ontario location day is a day on which principal photography for the production is done in Ontario outside a film studio.

  • A production qualifies for this bonus if:

    • the producer does not have more than one previous producer screen credit for a production that was commercially released, or broadcast in prime time; and
    • the producer has not participated as a producer on another production which received an OFTTC certificate; and
    • the qualifying production company is not controlled directly or indirectly by: an individual with more than one previous producer screen credit for a production that was commercially released or broadcast in prime time; or by someone who has participated as a producer on a production that has received an OFTTC certificate; or by a corporation that has received an OFTTC certificate.

    If you would like to apply for the bonus, you should contact us for a First-Time Producer Declaration, which will have to be submitted (along with a c.v.) for every producer on the production, including the executive producers and co-producers.

  • If there are episodes in a television series that don’t qualify for the OFTTC (for example, they don’t have the minimum Canadian content points), an OPSTC application can be made for those episodes provided they meet all the OPSTC eligibility requirements. In such a case, the episodes in the series could be split into separate OFTTC and OPSTC applications.

    Similarly, if a television series as a whole doesn’t qualify for the regional bonus, the episodes can be split into separate OFTTC applications for the purpose of qualifying for the regional bonus.

  • Only eligible labour incurred on or after the Production Commencement Time (PCT) can be claimed for a production. The PCT is the earlier of a) or b):

    1. is the commencement of principal photography;
    2. is the latest of the following 3 dates:
      1. first script labour expenditure *
      2. rights acquisition **
      3. 2 years prior to principal photography***

    * The date of first script labour expenditure is the date the applicant production company (or its parent corporation****) first incurs an expenditure for salary, wages or other remuneration for the activities of scriptwriters, that are directly attributable to the development by the company of script material for the production. Script material can include a draft script, original story, narration, outline, synopsis, or treatment, etc. It does not include research.

    ** The date of rights acquisition is the date the applicant production company (or its parent corporation****) first acquires the property on which the production is based.

    ***The Province introduced an amendment to temporarily extend the claim period by 24 months, whereby eligible expenditures can be claimed up to 48 months, or 4 years, prior to the start of principal photography or key animation (“PP”). To qualify for this extension, the production must have: a) commenced PP after March 15, 2020; b) incurred an Ontario labour expenditure on or before March 15, 2020; and c) must not have applied for a Letter of Confirmation on or before March 15, 2020. Note that a production that applied for a Letter of Confirmation (“LOC”) on or before March 15, 2020 and later withdrew that application will still be considered to have applied for a Letter of Confirmation on or before March 15, 2020. The applicant production company must also file a valid, completed waiver with the CRA for each taxation year prior to PP in which the they claim an OFTTC for the production, and include a completed Ontario Creates Waiver Declaration & Statement of Intent to Claim COVID-19 Extensions (“Ontario Creates Waiver & COVID Statement”) for these taxation years with their application for a Certificate of Eligibility (or with their application for an LOC if the Certificate of Eligibility has already been issued). Alternatively, a production can claim eligible expenditures incurred prior to the year in which PP began in the tax credit claim for the year that PP began. No CRA waiver is required in this case, but companies must indicate that they are applying for this extension when completing the Ontario Creates Waiver & COVID Statement. Please consult the guidelines for further details on these requirements.

    **** For the purposes of PCT, ‘parent corporation’ is interpreted to mean a corporation that 100% owns another corporation. If there are two or more shareholders of a corporation, that corporation is considered not to have a parent.

  • The rule of thumb for fringes is that only those costs that are taxable benefits to the employee can be included as eligible labour expenditures. Items such as vacation pay, retirement contributions and insurance contributions can be taxable benefits if they are included in the gross wages of the employee (and listed on the T4).

  • Assistance includes grants, subsidies and forgivable loans. These will reduce (‘grind’) your tax credit. However, the 2015 Ontario Production Services and Computer Animation and Special Effects Transitional Fund is not considered assistance for the purposes of the OFTTC, OPSTC or OCASE.

    Bona fide loans with a set repayment date, other tax credits, licence fees and equity investments are not considered assistance.

    Sponsorships may be considered assistance if there does not appear to be an exchange of benefits (such as cash or goods) at fair market value between the producer and the sponsor.

    Labour deferrals reduce the amount of labour that can be claimed for the OFTTC and OCASE tax credit. Deferrals for non-labour costs do not. The OPSTC is based on qualifying production expenditures (QPE) which is broader than just labour. Deferrals of qualifying production expenditures reduce the amount of QPE that can be claimed for the OPSTC.

    We will want to see documentation of all the financial contributions to a production, including loans, deferrals and sponsorship amounts.

    In April 2017, CRA posted an application policy to provide stakeholders in the film, video and television production industries with an overview of the legislation related to the definition of assistance. The application policy addresses various forms of financing and provides guidance to stakeholders to help them determine whether an amount would be considered assistance for purposes of calculating the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) and the Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC). The policy also applies to similar provincial tax credits that are co-administered by CRA such as OFTTC, OPSTC and OCASE.

    CRA Application Policy

  • Grants are considered a form of assistance which grind the OFTTC. Assistance from all sources, regardless of whether the amount was received by the Ontario co-producer or by the interprovincial co-production partner, and regardless of whether it relates to the Ontario portion of the production costs or the partner’s costs, grind the Ontario labour amount proportionately.

    Here is an example of the grind calculation:

    Total Production Costs (Ontario and co-producer’s) $10,000,000
                                                 Ontario Labour Amount $ 3,000,000
                                                                    Grant amount $ 500,000

    In this example:

    Assistance x Ontario Labour Amount
                        Total Production Costs

    In this example:

    $500,000 x $3,000,000 = $150,000

    The Ontario Labour amount on which the OFTTC is calculated is therefore $2,850,000.

  • Crowdfunding will not impact a production’s eligibility for a tax credit. However, depending on the type of crowdfunding model utilized, it may be treated as assistance. In April 2017 CRA posted an application policy on various forms of financing and how to determine if they were assistance. The policy also dealt with three crowdfunding models: donation, lending and investment. The donation model is the one that producers might be most likely to use where there are small gifts/items provided by the producer to the contributor based on tiered levels of donation. In accordance with CRA’s application policy the donation model of crowdfunding would be treated as assistance.

    CRA Application Policy

  • No, we generally do not want to see these declarations as part of our review. We require crew/cast lists that include the job title and residency address for each person for whom labour is being claimed.

  • Yes. For purposes of OCASE, an eligible production is one that has already been issued an OFTTC or OPSTC Certificate of Eligibility. If you are a producer that will be applying for OFTTC or OPSTC and you have performed eligible animation or visual effects activities so you plan on applying for OCASE, you may wish to consider staggering your applications. Applicants for the OFTTC/OPSTC may apply to Ontario Creates as early as the first day of principal photography or key animation. OCASE applicants may only apply to Ontario Creates at the end of their fiscal year. If you have applied promptly, you will have your OFTTC/OPSTC Certificate of Eligibility in hand and it won’t hold up your OCASE application. Likewise, you may have contracted vendors to provide animation or visual effects services on your production. The processing of OCASE applications by those vendors for their work will be held up pending the processing and certification of your OFTTC/OPSTC. Producers are encouraged to communicate with their visual effects and animation suppliers as to when they file their OFTTC/OPSTC claims.

  • Applicants are encouraged to upload their certificates via the “T2 attach-a-doc” feature of their CRA-approved tax software. This is a feature that allows taxpayers to electronically file supporting documentation with the CRA directly at the time of filing their T2 tax return (note that documents can also be filed via this feature within 24 hours after filing the T2 tax return electronically). If the document is filed later (i.e., after 24 hours from the time of filing the T2 tax return electronically), you can register for My Business Account (MyBA) and then submit it electronically via the MyBA portal. A new feature is now available on MyBA that allows registrants to submit their certificates and other documents without a case or reference number. Please see What’s new – Film and media tax credits on CRA’s website for further details.

    If you choose to submit the certificate by mail, it should be sent to the appropriate CRA tax centre. You can also submit the certificate by fax and it will be converted to electronic format when received at the CRA. Please see Film services units - for the mailing addresses and fax numbers.

  • The OFTTC administration fee is calculated as 0.15% of eligible expenditures for the application. There is a minimum fee of $500 per application and a maximum of $10,000 per application.

    There is an additional filing fee of $100 applied to applications for Certificates of Eligibility received more than 24 months after the end of the first fiscal year in which principal photography began. Where a year-end has not been included in the application, the additional fee will be applied to applications submitted more than 24 months after the start of principal photography. As well, there is a fee of $100 for each Amended Certificate.

  • A screen credit recognizing financial support from the Ontario Government is available for producers to acknowledge the OFTTC’s contribution to their production. Although it is not required (since tax credit information is considered confidential), a screen credit is certainly a welcome and appropriate way to acknowledge taxpayer support. The Ontario wordmark logo and accompanying guidelines can be downloaded  from Ontario Wordmark.

  • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers Ontario’s film and media tax credits on behalf of Ontario and does not allow for a tax refund to be assigned to a third party.

    The CRA does, however, allow a corporation to redirect its tax refund less any taxes owing to the mailing address of its choice, for example, a financial institution. The name of the payee on the refund cheque, however, will be that of the eligible corporation filing the claim.

    If you want the CRA to send your refund cheque to an address other than your regular mailing address, include a letter with your T2 Corporation Tax Return requesting this and ensure that you provide the address. Submit the letter to the taxation centre where you file your T2 Corporation Tax Return. A list of the tax centres is available at CRA.

  • If you have further questions, please contact the phone duty line by e-mail or call us at 416-642-6659.Please leave a detailed message including your name, company, phone number and the file about which you are inquiring. There is a different person on phone duty every day, and he/she will respond to your email or call within one business day.