Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit to end July 1

The Saskatchewan government does not appear to be backing down on its recently announced elimination of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit. Entertainment lawyer, David Zitzerman of Goodmans LLP, told Lexpert that Saskatchewan is just the third province ever to do so, after PEI and New Brunswick. “Virtually all other Canadian provinces (including BC, Ontario and Quebec) and Territories continue to have very generous film incentives,” says Zitzerman, “as does the federal Canadian Income Tax Act which has two separate film tax credits for ‘Canadian content’ and services productions”.

Certain defenders of the Credit are hosting an online petition to save it. According to http://www.petitionhosting.com/petitions/www.savethesfetc.com, the tax credit brings investments into the province. In 14 years, the petition hosts claim, $100 million of investment (since the program began in 1998) generated $623 million in production revenue for the province and the film industry created 1200 jobs in 2009-10 alone.

Meanwhile, according to the Saskatchewan government, eliminating the credit is anticipated to save it $3 million this year and $8 million annually once it is fully phased out by the end of 2014 – in keeping with its efforts to “ensure provincial finances remain sustainable”.

The government did postpone its deadline for receiving applications for consideration from April to July 1, 2012.

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