(Source: realfilmcareer.com) A sweetening of the film and television tax credits in the province of Quebec has yet to cause a stir in British Columbia, as the industry here will monitor the impact the move will have on this province’s fortunes.

In fact, the changes in Quebec could actually bolster one segment in B.C. — the visual effects industry.

On June 12, the Quebec government changed the tax credit for foreign production companies shooting in the province from 25 per cent of labour costs to 25 per cent of total budget expenses in the province. This means that an American studio could write off not only one-quarter of wages paid to Quebec workers, but also one-quarter of other costs incurred in the province, including studio rental, equipment acquisitions and rentals, building materials, software and catering.

“This is significant, because it could potentially double their tax credit over there,” said Peter Leitch, president of North Shore Studios and Mammoth Studios and chair of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of B.C. “Quebec had very litte foreign production last year, so this is a way for them to compete with states that have aggressive tax credits.”

Quebec had no major U.S. productions last year, the last big Hollywood movie shot there being a partial shoot of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, in 2007.

“It’s an aggressive measure by Quebec, and we’ll just wait and see what the impacts of it are,” said Leitch. “We just want to make sure we act responsibly and don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to this particular change.”

Both B.C. and Ontario have labour tax credits of 25 per cent for foreign-based productions, as well as a higher rate for domestic productions. The provinces also have various regional tax credits to encourage production outside the major centres. B.C.’s tax credit system is in place until 2013.

However, one change in Quebec may send work west. Quebec eliminated the additional 20-per-cent labour tax credit for visual effects work done in the provinceinstead extending the total budget credits by another five per cent, to 30 per cent, for productions who do their visual effects in the province.

This means that film companies could shoot their live-action footage in Quebec, but take their visual effects work to B.C., where they could receive the 25-per-cent labour tax credits spent on creating the visual effects, plus the extra 15-per-cent digital animation or visual effects (DAVE) credit in B.C.

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