Ireland ups tax relief to 32%

Production incentive extended to 2020

LONDON — The value of Ireland’s tax relief for investment in films is set to increase from 28% to 32% in 2015, Ireland’s minister for arts Jimmy Deenihan confirmed Friday.

Speaking on a visit to the Dublin set of Lenny Abrahamson’s “Frank,” starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Deenihan also confirmed the extension of the tax credit to 2020, originally announced in December. The changes to the Section 481 tax incentive for film and television were published Wednesday in the Irish Finance Bill by minister for finance Michael Noonan.

“The commitment to Section 481 highlights the support of the government for the film and television industry in Ireland,” said Deenihan. “Supported by the Irish Film Board and Section 481, ‘Frank’ will spend close to Euros5 million ($6.7 million) on the Irish economy, on jobs and local services, and will go on to promote Ireland and Irish talent around the world.”

The key enhancement, hinted at in December, is the increase in the film corporation tax credit to an amount equal to 32% of the lowest of, first, the eligible expenditure amount, second, 80% of the total cost of the production, and third, Euros 50 million ($66.8 million). The change from the current 28% credit will be implemented from 2015. In December Noonan said the existing tax relief scheme will be restructured as a tax credit at the same time.

“The legislation published this week demonstrates the proactive approach that the Irish government is taking in its commitment to the Irish film, television and animation industries,” said James Hickey, chief executive of the Irish Film Board. “The enhancements to Section 481, together with a modern film studio infrastructure, experienced local producers, award-winning cast and crew and beautiful film locations, makes Ireland a competitive base for international film and television.”

The Irish film, television and animation industry contributed more than $267 million in terms of Irish spend on jobs and services, to the Irish economy in 2012.

Recent productions filmed 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.

“Frank” is produced by Ed Guiney for Element Pictures, and David Barron and Stevie Lee for Runaway Fridge, with financing from the IFB, Film4 and the BFI. Protagonist Pictures handles international sales. Artificial Eye will distrib in Blighty.

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