Irish Government Brings Forward Upped Tax Incentive to 2015

2012 British-Irish drama "Shadow Dancer"

The tax boost to 32 percent brings the break in line with the U.K. tax credit system by opening it up to U.S. talent activities in Ireland.

LONDON – The Irish Film Board is celebrating after Ireland's government said it would up its tax breaks for production to 32 percent from 2015.

The Irish lawmakers also said it would extend the breaks for production to talent from outside the European Union, including talent from the U.S. working on the Emerald Isle. The change mirrors the U.K. tax credit, which also allows work by U.S. talent on British shores to qualify.

"Building on the current success of the film, television and animation industry, this new measure will assist Irish producers in attracting foreign direct investment in the form of international feature films and television shows which will assist in creating new Irish jobs within the sector," Irish Film Board chief executive James Hickey said in a statement.

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The enhancement of the Irish tax incentive for the film and television industry demonstrates the commitment of the Irish government to the future of Irish film, television and animation sectors and Ireland's creative industries.

Earlier in 2013, the Irish government extended the Section 481 legislation to 2020 and increased its value to 32 percent as of 2016. This improvement and the change announced in the 2014 budget has now been brought forward to 2015.

Irish Minister for finance Michael Noonan said: "These productions are job-rich and can often give a knock-on boost to the tourism sector. This extension will be subject to EU state-aid approval, and it will be coupled with the introduction of a withholding tax."

Production activity across the feature film, independent drama, TV and animation industry in Ireland in 2012 was valued at more than $244 million (€180 million) in terms of expenditure on local goods and services in Ireland, up around 30 percent over 2011 figures. 

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Employment levels within the overall audiovisual industry, which has a turnover of more than $678 million (€500 million), also have increased to more than 6,500 full-time job equivalents.

Over the course of 2012, the Irish Film Board invested in 30 film and television projects, which led to $160 milllion (€118 million) being raised in foreign direct investment by Irish producers on IFB-funded projects. $108 million (€80 million) of this was invested directly into the Irish economy through the purchase of local services and employment.