As if its natural beauty wasn’t enough, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia is equally irresistible for the tax credits it offers filmmakers
With scenic beauty and generous incentives, Nova Scotia is a place where stories come to life. Located on the east coast of Canada, impressive locations, infrastructure and a tax credit of between 50 and 65 per cent of eligible labour costs together make the province a tempting place to make films.
Nova Scotia is one of the largest production centres in Canada compared to the more popularly known destinations like Toronto, Montreal and British Columbia. It also has a track record of delivering excellence to filmmakers, both in terms of production values and quality, and all at a very competitive price.
Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s three Maritime Provinces and is its second-smallest province. It has one of the fastest growing economies in Canada, which is largely based on the local fishing industry. Peggys Cove, a small rural community, Halifax, the provincial capital, and Lunenburg, a port town, are one of the best destinations in North America.
Halifax has it all from the skyline at night to historic properties. Sambro Island Lighthouse, Maritime Museum and the Argyle Street are some of the many attractions of this metropolitan city.
This picturesque destination is green and provides landscapes that have been preserved for years. Needless to say, these colourful locations appear dazzling on reel. To bring in more revenue, the film commission of the province provides tempting incentives for co-productions.
Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone and, although the province is almost surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental than maritime. The temperature extremes of the continental climate are moderated by the ocean. Nova Scotia has a climate that is primarily influenced by the sea. Its cold winters and warm summers are modified and generally moderated by ocean influences. The province is surrounded by four major bodies of water: the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southwest, and Atlantic Ocean to the east.
Nova Scotia Film Industry Tax Credit
This programme is a fully refundable corporate income tax credit. It is a labour-based credit that encourages the development, training and hiring of Nova Scotia film personnel in all disciplines. Film Nova Scotia administers this programme on behalf of the Nova Scotia Department of Finance. The credit ranges from 50 per cent to 65 per cent.
• The Tax Credit is available to qualifying productions and co-productions produced and/or shot in Nova Scotia. Production companies applying for the Tax Credit must have a permanent establishment in Nova Scotia (a fixed place of business, a production office, a branch) and must be incorporated under the laws of Nova Scotia, another province of Canada, or Canada.
• There is no limit on the size of the production budget, no corporate or asset cap, and no Canadian content or copyright ownership requirements associated with this Tax Credit.
• The Tax Credit is calculated as the lesser of 50 per cent of eligible Nova Scotia labour or 25 per cent of the total production costs for productions that occur in the Halifax region (Metro Halifax), or the lesser of 60 per cent of eligible Nova Scotia labour, or 30 per cent of total production costs for productions that occur in other regions of the province.
• Eligible Geographic Areas (EGA) of the province are considered locations that are located 30 km driving distance or more from Halifax City Hall. If less than 50 per cent of the days of principal photography are shot outside Metro Halifax, the Regional bonus is prorated based on the number of days principal photography is shot outside the Halifax Region.
The Harmonised Sales Tax or HST is a 15-per cent value-added tax. This is added to the cost of virtually all goods and services, except employee payroll and certain groceries, acquired in Nova Scotia for use in film production. Production companies that do not normally carry on business in Canada are entitled to recover the HST paid on goods or services acquired for consumption or use exclusively in the production of copyrighted work. All copies of the work must be exported. Production companies filming in Nova Scotia must be HST-registered to recoup taxes paid.