Minister Dhaliwal Announces Revenue Canada Initiatives For Film Industry In Canada

Ottawa, July 8, 1999…The Honourable Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of National Revenue and M.P. (Vancouver South-Burnaby), today announced a number of initiatives resulting from extensive consultations between Revenue Canada and representatives of the film production industry in Canada.

“I am pleased to announce a series of measures that will provide certainty for the film industry in Canada along with enhanced service for film studios, producers, and actors,” Mr. Dhaliwal said. “These streamlined procedures will assist the industry in complying with Canada’s tax laws and ensure that Canada receives its fair share of the total taxes paid by non-resident actors.”

The Minister announced that Revenue Canada will establish a Film Services Unit (FSU) to handle all tax procedures involving the film and television production industry in Canada, including the determination of taxes for non-resident actors and the administration of federal tax credits for non-resident and Canadian film productions.

The Minister said Revenue Canada already has a number of industry-specific groups similar to the new FSU, including a recently-established unit to administer tax incentives for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development program.

“The film industry in Canada is dynamic and growing in economic and cultural importance,” Minister Dhaliwal stated. “The new Film Services Unit will ensure that our tax administration is responsive to the industry’s changing circumstances.”

In addition, Revenue Canada will establish the Film Industry Advisory Committee comprised of industry representatives. This committee will provide advice to the Minister and the Department on industry-related matters on a regular and ongoing basis. The Committee will be patterned along the lines of other sectoral advisory committees which currently serve the Minister.

Finally, the Minister indicated that a special interdepartmental working group will be formed to streamline administration of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax credit. “This is a relatively new program and we recognize that its administration needs some improvement,” said Mr. Dhaliwal.

Today’s announcements result from consultations that began in January when Mr. Dhaliwal invited more than 40 representatives of the film industry, including actors, from Canada and the United States to discuss taxation issues. Consultations have continued with a working group co-chaired by Canadian film producers Fitch Cady of Vancouver and Patrick Whitley of Toronto. Industry stakeholders that helped in developing the Revenue Canada initiatives include the Canadian Film and Television Production Association, the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association, the Motion Picture Association of America, and major U.S. film companies such as Walt Disney Studios, Warner’s, Universal and Paramount.

Industry representatives have indicated support for the new initiatives.

Mr. Whitley said, “We found Mr. Dhaliwal and his department very responsive to some important industry concerns. Film is a major growth industry in Canada and its significance was taken seriously by Revenue Canada. The changes made are the result of many hours of hard work by Revenue Canada and the film industry working group.”

Mr. Cady added, “It was a pleasure to work closely with the Minister and the Department on these issues. I am confident that the changes that have been put in place will serve the industry well now and in the future.”

Elizabeth McDonald, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA), said the CFTPA had been actively involved in the process of consultation with Revenue Canada. “Several of our members attended the meeting with the Minister in January. They and our staff continued to work toward this practical and equitable solution,” said Ms. McDonald.

“The film industry representatives have all contributed immensely to today’s announcements by their good will and persistence,” Mr. Dhaliwal said. “I want to personally thank everyone involved for working together to resolve these important matters.”

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