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Is Your Business Leaving Money on the Tablet?

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Technically Speaking, You're Probably Leaving Money on the Tablet

In an age of a 24-hour news cycle, where people fall in love via text messages, and it's possible to work, buy groceries and diagnose disease from the comfort of your couch, it's no surprise that the tech boom of the 90s is seeing resurgence. But while moralists may fear our addiction to all things digital, savvy small business owners should be doing their homework -- or perhaps creating an app that will do homework for others -- to make sure they are not leaving large sums of money on the tablet.

I'm speaking, of course, of the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit, or OIDMTC for short(er). This is a largely untapped provincial credit for which awareness and comprehension is low, but which can be a game-changer for SMEs; one Ontario online-gaming company recently received a cash refund of $1.4 million, which they were able to reinvest in the company to purchase new equipment, hire new staff and expand services.

To qualify, the products must make use of at least two of the following: text; sound; and images. All of, or the majority of, the digital product must be developed in Ontario in order to be eligible.

The credit is calculated on up to 40 per cent of the eligible labour, and up to $100,000 in marketing and distribution expenses incurred to create interactive digital media products in Ontario, regardless of the size of the company. Eligible digital media projects include:

• DVDs
• CD-ROMs
• Kiosks
• Interactive Websites
• Digital Media Games and
• Applications for smartphones or tablets

The OIDMTC is jointly administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation, which is an agency of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture; the credit is in part a tool to retain some of the talent it Ontario educates in digital media at local colleges.

Any tech company, or even non-tech companies incorporating digital media into their operations, should take some time to review the OIDMTC guidelines. For SMEs, the potential returns could be the key to moving your business forward in a digital age.