LONDONIreland’s government has extended its tax incentive for the film, TV and animation industries until 2020, finance minister Michael Noonan announced Wednesday. Noonan said the existing tax relief scheme, Section 481, will be restructured as a tax credit in 2016 when it will include further enhancements. “This demonstrates the commitment of the Irish government to the future of Ireland’s creative industries,” said James Morris, chairman of the Irish Film Board. “These changes will strengthen the sector as an important contributor to the Irish economy.” The biz contributed more than €150 million ($196 million) to the economy in 2011, in terms of local spend on jobs and services. “The extension of this scheme will give a great deal of certainty to the Irish audiovisual sector to the end of this decade,” said Jimmy Deenihan, minister for arts and heritage. “Moving to a tax credit model will be a significant change, but there is an extended lead-in period to the new arrangements to enable the sector to adapt.” Section 481, introduced in 1997 but updated in 2006 and 2008, allows Irish tax payers to invest up to $65,300 in a special purpose film or TV production company, in any given year, for which they can claim 100% tax relief. The amount which can be invested depends on the production’s spend on Irish goods, services and facilities, including cast and crew. Recent productions filming in Ireland included upcoming skeins “Vikings,” featuring Gabriel Byrne, with a local spend of $32.7 million, and “Ripper Street,” starring Matthew Macfadyen, with a spend of nearly $14.4 million.