Canada: The Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC)


Type of incentivePayroll Tax Rebate
Qualifying formats
  • - Feature film - fiction (theatrical)
  • - Feature film - documentary (theatrical)
  • - TV Film or TV series - fiction
  • - TV Film or TV series - documentary
  • - Post production/special effects for film & tv (fiction)
  • - Post production/special effects for film & tv (non-fiction)
Qualifying productions
  • - National productions
  • - Foreign productions
  • - Co-productions


Benefit as a % of spend16.00
Financial cap per production-
Do I have to register/set up a company?Yes
Does foreign cast/crew paid in their home country/region qualify as expenditure? No
Do foreign cast/crew have to pay tax in the host country/state/region? Yes
Does travel to/from country/region qualify as expenditure? No
Can a production qualify for other national incentives such as cultural programmes if it qualifies for this incentive? Yes
Criteria to access the benefit
  • - Use Local cast & Crew
When will the benefit/incentive be received?
  • - End of national fiscal year
Additional incentives or advantages
  • - VAT / GST /Sales Tax recoverable
  • - Rece tour assistance, location finding service
  • - In Canada the goods and services tax or GST is a federal tax of 6% on most goods and services sold in Canada. Some goods and services are exempt from GST. Provincial sales tax or PST rates differ from province to province. If you are fortunate enough to be doing business in Alberta, Yukon, Nanavut or the Northwest Territories there is no PST. In the rest of the country, the provincial sales tax situation is more complicated. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador operate under a "harmonised" tax system. When buying goods and services in these provinces, instead of being charged GST and PST separately, you will be charged HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) of 14%. All other provinces treat the provincial sales tax as separate from the GST, the federal tax. To make matters even more confusing, some provinces refer to their provincial sales tax systems as Retail Sales Taxes (Ontario) or Social Services Taxes (British Columbia) instead of as PST and Quebec has its own tax entirely (QST). The provincial sales tax (PST) rate differs from province to province and is even calculated differently in different provinces. For instance, in Ontario, the provincial sales tax rate is 8%, which is charged on the selling price of the item before the GST is applied. In British Columbia the PST rate is 7%, in Saskatchewan the PST rate is 6%, in Manitoba the PST rate is 7%, and the provinces that use HST all do the same. In Quebec and Prince Edward Island, the provincial sales tax is charged on the total selling price plus GST. While PST is referred to as a Retail Sales Tax in many provinces, that doesn't mean that the PST only applies to retail businesses. Provincial sales taxes are charged on retail goods and services. Behind the scenes personnel, ie crew, are taxed at 15% of gross (23% for cast and in-front-of-camera personnel). Under the legislation, 23% tax must be withheld on the gross income earned from acting in a film or video production, including residuals and contingent compensation, with no deductions permitted. Non-resident actors can either: Have 23% of their gross acting income withheld and not have to file a return; Or have 23% of their gross acting income withheld, file an elective return, and pay tax at marginal rates on their net income instead of 23% on the gross amount. If the non-resident tax withheld by the payer is more than the amount of tax payable calculated on the return, the excess will be refunded. The legislation applies to non-resident actors in film or video production, such as feature films, movies of the week, television series, documentaries, video productions, and commercials. The legislation applies only to acting income earned by non-resident actors providing services in Canada. If a non-resident person earns other income in Canada (for services as a producer or director, or income from stage acting, for example), this income is subject to withholding at the rate of 15% and the person is required to file a tax return. For further information please consult the Canadian Revenue Agency website.