Financing Film Tax Refunds For Filming in Canada

Financing film tax refunds on Canadian productions is currently an integral part of the overall financing for projects in film, television, and animation in Canada. Those in the know are aware that typically a valid tax credit can be financing almost immediately after production has been completed.

An even more little know fact, (and we are surprised at the number of people that don’t know this ) is that if you tax credit is certifiable and you are somewhat experienced in the industry your tax credit can actually be financing during your production, bringing much needed cash flow and working capital to your project.

When we meet with clients we are not of course surprised to hear that a large part of their total project involvement in the 3 key areas (film, TV, and digital animation) is spent on sourcing financing for their project. While the overall financing environment has improved considerably in 2010 (and boy has those great government tax credit increases helped) it is still a challenge for most productions to cobble together financing for the entire project.

There are, of course, a number of options and strategies available to owners of any particular production. Our focus here in our information is primarily the monetizing of the increased and generous tax credits that come in the form on non repayable cheques from the government. Your ability to monetize, (we can say ‘cash flow ‘) those credits is a key part of the industry today.

Tax credit financing is usually done in conjunction with the other forms of financing in our three key focus areas. Those other types of financing of course include equity, pre-sales, etc.

In order to finance certain key elements must exist. The one key area to focus on is certification and eligibility, with criteria being a bit different, but essentially the same, depending on which proving your production is domiciled in. Ontario and B.C. seem to garner most of the action…

Owners that surround themselves with solid accounting and legal partners and who have a clean special purpose entity set up are 90% of the way there! What we are really saying is that if your production is eligible, and you have documented your bidets and costs carefully, and they are cleanly with a separate legal entity (preferable) you are safe to assume you can have your tax credit financed.

We strongly recommend that you work with someone who is at trusted, experienced and credible advisor in this area who will work with you to maximize the total dollars that you can derive out of your tax credit. Naturally a clean tax credit represents 100% of the dollars due to your production. To err on the side of safety and conservatism tax credits are generally financed at 50-80% loan to value. (There are exceptions on the upside and downside as always!). No payments are made on your financing, and final financing costs come out of the final receipt of funds form the government, with any additional balances left over due to your production of course.

The ability to finance your production creatively, with the assistance of the monetization of your tax credit is a powerful strategy not available in all parts of the world, due in most part of course to the generous non repayable credits the Canadian government as deemed for the industry. Utilize tax credit financing to improve the overall success of your projects.

Let’s Know About Computer Financing and Its Bad Credit

Computer financing refers to the various methods business owners use to purchase new computers or computer equipment. Many different agencies, including computer and electronics companies, specialized lending institutions, and banks, offer ways to finance buying new computers or equipment.

The first source for computer financing that a business owner should consider, is the direct manufacturer of computers and computer related products. Companies, such as Dell, Sony, and Apple, usually offer plans that allow a buyer to make small monthly payments on purchases at low interest rates. Monthly payments and interest rates are calculated according to the buyer’s credit report. The better the credit, the better chance a business owner has of paying less. Similar financing can be obtained through retail electronics stores as well, such as Best Buy and Circuit City.

There are lending institutions that deal solely with computer financing. Usually, their terms for financing are more liberal than those of manufacturers and retail stores. Many of these lending agencies do not even require a credit check or a down payment; therefore, individuals with bad credit have a good chance off getting a better deal with these agents.

Banks and credit unions may also have computer financing programs. With banks, however, an individual with bad credit may be turned down or may have to make large payments. Also, approval for financing from a bank could take several days or weeks; with other methods of financing, the approval process usually takes no more than twenty-four hours.

To get the best value for your money a business owner should research all the available options and decide which would be most suitable for his or her needs.

Computer financing for bad credit generally refers to ways for business owners with bad credit to get financing for new computers or equipment. Most computer manufacturers, retail electronics stores, and financing institutions have programs that allow individuals with bad credit to get the computers and equipment needed for a business.

Companies that offer computer financing for bad credit typically require applicants to have a checking or savings account and a minimum monthly income. If the individual is on the verge of bankruptcy they would be charged higher rates along with expensive monthly payments.

Computer financing for bad credit costs more because financing companies take a risk that the buyer may or may not pay off the computers or equipment. The buyer also pays more to compensate for his or her bad credit. When a buyer meets the monthly payments, finance companies report this to national credit institutions, thereby improving the buyer’s credit score.

Other companies that offer computer financing for bad credit are rent-to-own businesses. A buyer gets to use the computer while paying monthly installments towards the ownership of a computer. These companies typically charge higher interest rates and payment plans in comparison to other computer financing agencies.

Once a business owner with bad credit obtains a means of financing a computer, it is important to pay the monthly installments on time to improve his or her credit report and possibly lower the interest rate on the computer.

Factoring Financing – Three Things You Need to Know About Receivable Financing in Canada

You have made the decision to consider factoring financing as an overall business financing strategy. In some cases you may be factoring and receivable financing currently, but are not happy with a number of key issues that weren’t discussed when you set up your facility. Let’s explore the three things you need to know around factoring financing in Canada, and debunk some of the myths and mis information that is out there on this subject.

These are:

1. All factoring Companies are the same

2. Factoring is expensive

3. Factoring is intrusive to my customers and suppliers, but my firm has to live with that

The reality in Canada is that as a country we came late to the factoring party. Factoring started in the U.S. and Europe, and has been established for hundreds of years. As a result the factoring that tends to dominate Canadian business financing, both in business model and pricing is heavily influenced by a small number of foreign firms.

We should probably do a very short ‘primer’ on factoring to ensure we’ve got the basics in place. Factoring, or receivable financing is the sale of your invoices or accounts receivable to a third party. It is very dominant in certain industries, i.e. trucking and transportation, staffing, etc, but quite frankly is now prevalent throughout Canada in many industries. What differentiates factoring is really the three points we’ll discuss – who is offering it to you, what it costs, and how does it work.

We recommend to clients that they deal with Canadian firms when considering a factoring option. Because this business financing is somewhat unique, and mis understood we strongly recommend you work with a trusted, credible, and experienced advisor in this area who can guide you through what many consider the factoring maze.

So let’s get back to our three key areas: First factoring firms vary in Canada by size, geography, and financial capability. You need to align yourself with a party that is most suited to your type of business, the size of your receivables portfolio, and the ability to deal on a one on one basis on any issues that come up.As we stated, it seems common sense that your best partner will be a Canadian firm who as direct representation in your geographical area.

Lets move on to point # 2 – Is factoring expensive? We always hate saying this, but the answer is that it depends. Receivable financing certainly has the aura of being expensive, and unfortunately most clients we meet are always focus on rate. A few key points need to be made, so let’s be clear on this issue. First of all factoring in Canada has a discount rate of between 1-3% per month. We use the term discount rate because the industry itself doesn’t view the rate as an interest rate; it views it as essentially a reduction in your overall gross margin. Let’s use a quick, clear example. Let’s say you have an invoice for $ 100,000.00. Factoring allows you to get approx 90% of the funds on that invoice the day you generate the invoice. (The balance, 10%, is paid to you when your customer pays,) and out of that holdback comes, say a 2% discount fee to the factor firm) the factor industry view that 2% as a commission for financing your invoice. If your customer pays in 30 days Canadian business can be forgiven by saying – I paid 2% per month, that’s 24% per annum that is expensive.

One of the main points we can make when advising clients on a proper factor financing facility is that the funds you get on immediate cash conversion can be used to purchase inventory at a better price for cash, or alternatively, you can take the many 2% net ten day discounts many suppliers offer. If that was the case on all your business we can make the statement that you are recovering 100% of your financing costs via this strategy, plus you have unlimited working capital.That’s financial power.

For our third and final point we address the issue of customer intrusiveness. We alluded the U.S. and U.K. firms who follow a very clear process on the receivable financing for your firm – they send your invoice to your customer on your behalf, they corresponded with the customer, and they call your customer for money.But, and this is a large ‘ but’ did you know that with proper negotiations and the use of a proper advisor you can negotiate and implement a facility that allows you to bill and collect your own receivables, while at the same time getting all the benefits of factoring – i.e. immediate working capital and cash flow?

In summary, factoring can be easily mis understood.

Assess what you think is wrong or might not work with this method of financing, and develop a receivables financing strategy with the knowledge that you will not be making the mistakes of others who are less and ill informed.