Ireland's film tax credit expected to rise

Investor cap would increase to $64,700 per year

LONDON -- The Irish government is expected to push through "significant improvements" to its tax relief for investment in film and television projects in the coming days.

Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen said Monday that following an agreement with the Minister for Finance, the individual investor cap for those wishing to invest finance in film in Ireland will increase.

It will rise to 50,000 euros ($64,700) per year, up from the current limit of 31,750 euros, ($41,100), and there will be a 100% relief on that investment. Previously the relief was at 80%.

"This improvement follows on from confirmation earlier this year to increase the cap per project to 50 million pounds ($64.7 million) and to also extend the Section 481 relief scheme to 2012," Cullen said in a statement.

The Irish Film Board said Monday that it welcomed the improvements to the existing tax relief system, declaring it enough to "restore the competitiveness of Ireland as an international film and television location."

Irish Film Board chairman James Morris said, "With the introduction of these amendments the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism is signaling a clear vote of confidence in the industry to deliver not only on the immediate employment and overseas investments in the next 12 months but also on the long-term potential for the industry to continue to grow."

Ireland has not attracted any major U.S. features to film on location during 2008, and the government and IFB hope this will change after the improvements to the tax relief.

The Finance Bill is expected to greenlight the changes in the coming days, Cullen's office said.