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Ireland welcomes new film and TV tax incentives

Cliffs of MoherAs of 1 January 2015, a new film and TV tax incentive is in place in Ireland – a move set to boost the domestic production industry and lure more major international projects to the country.

Ireland is already considered to have a pretty robust film and TV production industry, with a record €183m contribution to the Irish economy in 2013 and a provision of up to 6,000 jobs.

The revised Section 481 includes an expansion of one of the criteria whereby the payable tax credit is based on the cost of all cast and crew working in Ireland, regardless of nationality; this broadening out of the previous EU-only talent specification is bound to attract more Hollywood names to film in Ireland.

Other enhancements include an increased rate of relief, now up to 32% of Irish expenditure, compared to the previous 28%; greater flexibility in the application process where applications can be submitted at any time prior to the completion of the project. Section 481 applies to feature films, TV dramas, animation and creative documentaries.

Ireland has enjoyed a long history of hosting high-profile productions, and recently made headlines as the island of Skellig Michael became one of the locations for the much-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. TV gets a pretty glossy look-in too, with dramas such as Penny Dreadful making their home in Dublin.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, said of the changes: “Our film and TV production sector is going from strength to strength, despite the economic challenges we have faced in recent years. I want to make Ireland a first choice destination for international film makers, and improving the tax breaks available under Section 481 will be essential to achieve this…

“I have also secured a commitment from the Minister for Finance to keep these changes under close review, with a view to introducing additional improvements which would help further boost the indigenous film sector and attract big budget productions to Ireland.”

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