SR&ED Tax Credits for Gaming Companies

It’s becoming well known that you don’t have to wear a lab coat to be eligible for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit Program. However, there are still industries where the program is not as prevalent as it should be given that many aspects of their related development projects may be SR&ED eligible. This includes the gaming industry. Developers are looking for ways to get financing and funding, but how does SR&ED fit in with the plan?

SR&ED Tax Program for Gaming Companies

Canada has become 1 of 3 major centres for the gaming industry, with Ontario and Quebec being the two main hotspots. The Ontario Technology Corridor (London to Ottawa) alone includes 18,000 companies. In fact, growth in the industry was 16% from 2017 to 2019. According to the Entertainment Software Association’s 2019 Economic Impact Report, the industry contributed $3.6 billion in revenue to the Canadian economy, a 15% increase over 2017. As the industry grows, so does the further need to seek out government subsidies.

One of the programs gaming companies can take advantage of is the SR&ED Tax Program. Through this program the Canadian Government offers over $3 billion to companies involved in R&D and innovation activities in Canada.

SR&ED eligibility in the gaming industry may include:

  • Algorithm design
  • Improving system performance
  • Inter-operability with 3rd party products
  • Rendering: Frame rates improvements & physics simulations (smoke, fog, rain, etc.)
  • Overcoming memory and framework limitations

Other Government Funding Available

In addition to SR&ED, gaming companies can possibly receive funding from the following programs:

  • Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit
  • Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit
  • BC Interactive Digital Media Credit

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*The information above is meant for informational purposes only, and not to be used as financial or legal advice. 

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