In Canada, including British Columbia, tax incentives are legislated and are available equally to all eligible businesses for qualifying activities. They are not negotiated on a taxpayer-by-taxpayer basis.
Certain incentives target specific industries, including:
- Screen-based industries (film and television, interactive digital media)
- natural gas;
- life sciences;
- clean technology
Other incentives target specific business activities, such as manufacturing, training, and research and development.
Investment Capital Incentives
Investors are eligible for tax credits for investing in Venture Capital Corporations, Eligible Business Corporations and Employee Share Ownership Plans.
British Columbia’s venture capital programs provide tax credit incentives to encourage early-stage investment in small businesses throughout the province. Corporations that invest in a registered venture capital corporation or a registered eligible business corporation may receive a 30% non-refundable tax credit on their investment.
Under the Employee Share Ownership Plan, employees residing in B.C. can invest in their employer’s business and claim a 20% non-refundable tax credit, up to an annual maximum of $2,000. The business must be a Canadian company with at least 75% of its wages and salaries going to B.C. resident employees.
British Columbia Training Tax Credit
Training tax credits
are available to eligible employers based on the wages paid to an eligible apprentice to a maximum of $4,000 per apprentice per year depending on salary, program and apprenticeship level. Eligible apprentices can receive tax credits too — up to $2,500 depending on the apprenticeship level they complete.
Property Tax Exemptions and Credits
Tangible personal property, such as production machinery, business equipment, furniture, and inventories, is exempt from property taxes in British Columbia. There are also certain exemptions for real property. For details, visit the British Columbia Assessment Authority.
Certain industrial businesses can claim industrial property tax credits for school property taxes. An owner of class 4/major industry property is entitled to a credit equal to 60% of the school taxes levied in the taxation year on the class 4 property.
Scientific Research and Experimental Development
The federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program
- Canada’s largest program supporting R&D, SR&ED may provide qualifying Canadian-controlled private corporations with a federal tax credit of up to 35% of qualified expenses for Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) carried out in Canada. Other Canadian corporations may be able to receive a 15% federal tax credit.
It is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency and is the largest single source of federal government support for industrial research and development. The program allows the deduction of eligible SR&ED expenditures to reduce income for tax purposes, and investment tax credits that can help reduce tax liability or, in some cases, yield cash refund.
British Columbia’s SR&ED program
mirrors the federal program and provides provides qualifying corporations that carry on scientific research and experimental development in B.C. with a refundable tax credit up to $300,000 and a non-refundable tax credit up to 10% of qualified British Columbia SR&ED expenses.
FILM PRODUCTION AND DIGITAL MEDIA
Targeted tax credits support our thriving creative industries. British Columbia is home to the third-largest film and production centre in North America and is a global hub for video game development.
- Tax credits of 28% of eligible British Columbia labour expenses are available for movie and TV projects; the credit increases to 35% for eligible domestic productions filmed in British Columbia.
- A federal tax credit of 16% of eligible Canadian labour expenses is also available; the federal credit increases to 25% for eligible domestic productions.
- Additional regional tax credits apply to B.C. labour expenses for movie and TV projects filmed outside the designated Vancouver area: 6% in nearby regions and an additional 6% for distant regions. For eligible domestic productions, the credits are 12.5% and an additional 6 %, respectively.
- British Columbia labour expenses for movie or TV digital animation, visual effects and post-production activities qualify for a further 16% tax credit.
- British Columbia labour expenses for scriptwriting are eligible for a further 35% tax credit for eligible domestic productions.
- Eligible video game developers receive an Interactive Digital Media tax credit equal to 17.5% of qualifying British Columbia labour costs.
British Columbia offers incentives to encourage investment in the province’s mining industry.
- Grassroots exploration receives a 20% provincial tax credit and a 15% federal tax credit.
- Provincial tax credits increase to 30% for exploration in areas affected by the mountain pine beetle infestation.
British Columbia’s tax policies enable our goods-producing industries to maintain lower operating costs.
- Qualifying businesses do not need to pay the provincial sales tax on purchases of eligible machinery and equipment.
- Manufacturers recover the 5% federal value added tax (GST) through input tax credits.
- Canada allows a 50% per year straight-line depreciation method for manufacturing or processing equipment (purchased before 2026).
- Imports of advanced machinery and equipment are duty free.
OIL, GAS, AND CLEAN ENERGY
British Columbia is promoting the development of our vast fuel and renewable energy resource and creating a globally competitive liquefied natural gas industry through targeted royalty programs and clean energy incentives.
- Royalty credits are available on production from deep wells.
- New coal bed methane wells receive royalty incentives.
- Equipment to produce energy more efficiently or from alternate energy resources, such as wind and waves, qualifies for Federal accelerated depreciation allowances for tax purposes.