Archive for the ‘Digital Gaming’ Category

Ontario Budget 2018 Highlights

The Ontario 2018 Budget, tabled on March 28, 2018, projects a growing deficit over the next three years and is predicted to resume a downward trend in 2022 with accumulated deficit expected to decline from 23.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017-18 to 22.1% by 2022.

The Ontario Budget proposes several measures and investments that impact businesses, including:

Innovation

  • An increase to the Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit (ORDTC) from 3.5% to 5.5% for eligible R&D expenditures over $1M (per taxation year) incurred on or after March 28, 2018.
  • Enhancements to the Ontario Innovation Tax Credit (OITC) for eligible R&D expenditures incurred on or after March 28, 2018 based on the ratio of R&D expenditures to gross revenues. Companies with a ratio of R&D expenditures to gross revenue of:
    • 10% or less will continue to claim the OITC at a rate of 8%;
    • 10-20% will be eligible for an enhanced OITC rate that will increase from 8% to 12% on a straight-line basis; and
    • 20% or more will be eligible to claim the OITC at a rate of 12%.
  • Expansions to the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC) eligibility criteria to include broadcaster purchased or licensed film/television websites that host film, television, or Internet production content not previously assessed (before Nov 1, 2017).
  • A review of various tax incentives implemented in other jurisdictions such as preferential corporate income tax rates (i.e., patent boxes), tax refunds, tax deductions, and exemptions with the intention of developing a provincial incentive to encourage Intellectual Property (IP).
  • An additional $50M over 10 years for the New Transformative Technology Partnerships Fund for businesses, SMEs, and scale‐ups as well as post-secondary and research institutions to collaborate on new dynamic products and services in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G wireless communications, autonomous vehicles, advanced computing, and quantum technologies.

Business Growth

  • In parallel with the 2018 Federal Budget proposal to phase-out or grind the $500,000 small-business limit, the Ontario Budget proposes to phase out the small-business limit on a straight-line basis for CCPCs (and associated corporations) earning between $50,000 and $150,000 of passive investment income in taxation years beginning after 2018.
  • Ending the electricity debt retirement charge (DRC) for mid-sized commercial and industrial non-ICI or non-RRP, Class B consumers as of April 1, 2018.
  • An additional $100M over 10 years for the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) to support regional economic development by creating jobs, attracting private sector investment and promoting innovation, and encouraging collaboration and cluster development.
  • An additional $500M over 10 years for the New Economy Fund for investing in priority sectors such as advanced manufacturing, information and communication technology (ICT), life sciences, and clean-tech.
  • An additional $85M over 3 years for the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to stimulate economic development and diversification across the region.
  • An additional $100M over 10 years for a new Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area Fund to support SMEs in the GTA and Hamilton area.

Export Market

  • Work to implement a Global Trade Strategy to diversify and promote trade in Ontario. This will include the Accelerate to International Markets program, the Global Growth Fund, and the Magnet Export Business Portal.

Startup Support

  • An additional $85M over 10 years for a new Venture Technology Fund to support a select number of very high‐potential, fast‐growing firms in expanding to become globally competitive.
  • An additional $15M over the next 3 years to NextAI, a Toronto based accelerator for early stage startups that leverage AI technologies.

Workforce Development

  • An additional $170M over 3 years for the new Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy to support transition into apprenticeship from high school, make the system easier to navigate, and to improve access for apprentices to high‐quality jobs upon completion.
  • Transforming the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit (ATTC) into the new Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (GAGE) to encourage employers to ensure that apprentices complete their training.

Canada Media Fund Experimental Stream Applications Due

The final 2015-2016 intake for the Canada Media Fund’s Experimental Stream (Production) will be closing on September 22, 2015, while the Development and Marketing & Promotion segments will be closing on October 6, 2015.

The Experimental Stream of the Canada Media Fund (CMF) is designed to support Canadian interactive digital media content, including application software, which demonstrates innovation in the field. Eligible projects may qualify under one of the three aforementioned segments, and the awarding of funding is processed through a jury of renowned digital pioneers and experts.

The Experimental Stream is funded through an investment of $27.0 million for English projects and $13.0 million for French projects in the 2015-2015 fiscal year. This new round of funding comes with a few significant changes to the program, such as:

  • An increased maximum overall cap contribution from CMF, up to $1.2 million from $1.0 million;
  • A decreased maximum contribution from CMF for Development projects, down to $400 thousand from $300 thousand;
  • An increased maximum contribution for Production projects, up to $1.2 million from $1.0 million;
  • An increased focus on previous success working with the CMF on eligible projects;
  • An increased focus on meaningful participatory experience as part of the definition of “interactivity”; and
  • A varied Development recoupment policy shifting all applications to a uniform model which allows for CMF advances to be converted into recoupable investments in the production.

Stay tuned for further updates on the Canada Media Fund.

Digifest 2015- Canada’s Digital Festival

Digifest, Canada’s premier digital festival, will take place from May 7th to May 9th 2015 at the Corus Quay building in Toronto, Ontario. This event showcases digital media, art, and technology content, with everyone from architects to app developers to entrepreneurs coming together to share their works and experiences within the digital media industry.

Digifest was founded in 2002 by Luigi Ferrara, Dean of the Centre for Arts & Design at George Brown College in Toronto, with the festival originally focusing on digital culture and design. In 2011, George Brown expanded the scope of the festival to include academia, industries within the digital media realm, and the public in order to celebrate digital creativity. For individuals interested in seeing innovative projects being developed and seeing students from Canadian academic institutions exhibit their projects, attending this event would be an excellent opportunity.

NorthBridge Consultants has over 20 years of experience assisting companies within the digital media industry to maximize the amount they receive from government funding programs, most notably the SR&ED and OIDMTC tax credits. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our Client Managers to see how we can help grow your business.

The 2015 Ontario Provincial Budget: Digital Media Review

In the 2015 Ontario Budget, published by the Ministry of Finance, the Government of Ontario announced a review of the Ontario Interactive Digital Medial Tax Credit program (OIDMTC). As a result of this review, the government has re-stated and re-emphasized the program to focus on interactive entertainment products, and on educational products for children under the age of 12. Under the reviewed OIDMTC program, ineligible products would include news applications, search engines, social media platforms, and functional databases.

Ontario also proposed an amendment to the requirement that at least 90% of the digital media product be developed in Ontario by the company applying to the OIDMTC program. This requirement will be replaced with new stipulations:

  1. 80% of total labour costs for eligible products must be attributable to qualifying salaries and wages as well as qualifying remuneration (contract payments to Ontario freelancers operating either as sole proprietors or through personal service corporations).
  2. 25% of total labour costs for eligible products must be attributable to wages of the corporation’s employees.

These rules will not apply to projects that were started before April 24th, 2015.

In the budget, it was also reported that Ontario provided approximately $335 million between 2014-2015 to the film and television industry through the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit (OFTTC), the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC), and the Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE). Moving forward, the OPSTC will be reduced from 25% to 21.5% for expenditures incurred after April 23rd, 2015, and the OCASE will be reduced from 20% to 18% for expenditures incurred after the same time. Despite the reductions, both programs are noted to remain competitive compared to other Canadian jurisdictions.

 

 

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NorthBridge Spring 2015 Newsletter

NorthBridge Consultants’ Spring 2015 Newsletter is out!

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