Updated as of October 1, 2018 to reflect CRA changes.

Important CRA Update Regarding Residency Documentation for Film and Media Tax Credits

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has published new guidelines regarding the documents it deems acceptable to satisfy proof-of-residency requirements in order for a production to qualify for film and media tax credits. This is a big step forward for the CRA and the film industry. These new guidelines will hopefully serve to standardize the acceptable documents that productions collect.

Specifically, the Guidelines provide that residency may be established by providing a copy of: 

1. One of:

  • A Notice of Assessment (T1) indicating that the individual is a Resident of Canada/the applicable province for the relevant tax year;
  • A letter from the CRA giving an opinion of the individual's resident status for the relevant year, after the individual has completed a Determination of Residency Status form (available here); or
  • A long-term (one year or greater) lease of proof of purchase of a Canadian dwelling with a utility bill or cellphone bill showing the individual lives at the applicable Canadian address; or

2. Three of:

  • The last tax return filed in the country of origin and/or any document filed with the foreign tax authority in which the individual has declared that they are no longer a resident;
  • A short-term (less than a year) lease agreement or letter from a landlord supporting a rental agreement;
  • A provincial health card and/or services card for the individual, their spouse and/or dependent;
  • A driver's license or vehicle registration from the relevant province (counts as 2 of the 3);
  • Document(s) supporting professional association or union membership in Canada; or
  • Statements of accounts (for example: bank accounts, retirement savings plan, credit cards, securities accounts) from a Canadian branch of a financial institution.

A copy of the Guidelines can be found here.

Under Article 27.11 of the DGC BC Collective Agreement, Employees are required to provide Canadian and Provincial residency information sufficient to ensure that the production company is eligible to receive federal and provincial incentives, including labour tax credits. The Personal Information and Privacy Act applies to the collection, use, and disclosure of this information.

Failure to provide residency documentation compromises a vital incentive that is instrumental in keeping production coming to our province.

In the last round of bargaining, new language regarding residency documentation was added to Article 27.11:

"Should the Employer inform an Employee and the Union that the Employee has failed to furnish appropriate residency information consistent with the requirements of this Article 27.11, the Employee shall have two (2) business days within which to provide the required information to the Employer. Should the Employee fail to do so within that time period, the Employer may terminate the Employee and the Employee shall not be entitled to severance or replacement pay. Should the Employer instead elect to retain the Employee, the Employee shall only be entitled to severance or replacement pay if eligible for the same, if the Employee has provided the required residency information to the Employer by the date of replacement or layoff."

Also added was the following:

"Effective October 1, 2018, the Employer shall notify the Union of the name of any Employee who was hired on a daily basis and failed to furnish appropriate residency information consistent with the requirements of the Article 27.11 within the period prescribed above. Upon such notice, that Employee shall be ineligible to be placed on any availability list until that Employee has provided the required information to the Employer."

I would encourage everyone to exhibit the utmost professionalism and provide the required documents to all productions they work on quickly and efficiently. Keeping photocopies or electronic copies of your residency information to submit or email to productions is highly recommended. Information can be blacked out as long as name, address, date(s) and SIN are clearly legible.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at the office at 604 688 2976, or email me at rlarson@dgcbc.com.

Thank you!

Rob Larson

DGC BC Business Agent