Frequently Asked Questions
The following will help answer your questions about augmented and virtual reality products as proposed in Budget 2017. These changes are subject to legislative and regulatory approval.
Augmented and Virtual Reality Products
What is a virtual reality (VR) product?
A VR product completely immerses the user into an artificial environment and simulates the user's physical presence in this environment.
What identifiable features does an augmented reality (AR) product have?
An AR product is not a complete immersion into an artificial environment. For the purpose of the BC Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (IDMTC), an AR product enhances the user’s perception of reality by superimposing or overlaying digital information onto the user’s field of view. AR products add the components of the digital world into a user's perceived real world.
What AR or VR products are eligible for the credit?
To be eligible for the B.C. IDMTC, the AR or VR product must be designed primarily to entertain the user.
Is an AR or VR product required to be used interactively by individuals, to be eligible for the BC IDMTC?
No. An AR or VR product that is designed primarily to entertain the user does not need to be used interactively by individuals in order to be eligible.
If an AR or VR product is designed to be used interactively by individuals, would it still be eligible for the B.C. IDMTC?
Yes. An AR or VR product that is considered to be interactive continues to qualify, like other products that qualify under the original eligibility criteria, if it is designed to educate, inform or entertain the user.
Are panoramic or 360° videos eligible for the B.C. IDMTC?
No. Panoramic or 360° videos (including immersive videos or spherical videos) are not by themselves, eligible for the B.C. IDMTC.
Are all products that provide for viewing a VR film or video, excluded from being eligible for the B.C. IDMTC?
Not necessarily. A VR film or video that allows the user to explore the narrative experience by changing the user’s point of view within the film or video (i.e. move around within an environment and observe the film or video content from different angles simultaneously, not just a single moving or stationary point) may be considered eligible for the B.C. IDTMC.
When do VR or AR products become eligible for the B.C. IDMTC?
Eligible salary and wages in respect of non-interactive AR or VR products that were incurred on or after February 22, 2017 are eligible for the B.C. IDMTC. If an AR or VR product is used interactively by individuals, eligible salary and wages are those that were incurred on or after the IDMTC program’s inception (i.e. September 1, 2010).