WHY: The Emerald Isle lost a lot of inward production because of competition from the U.K.’s new tax credit, but the Irish government moved to strengthen its Section 481 tax incentive to meet the challenge.

The benefit is worth up to 20% of Irish expenditure for films costing up to h50 million ($67.8 million), an increase from the previous h35 million limit, although salaries of non-European talent don’t count.

The upside is that the money is payable on day one of principal photography, rather than being claimed retroactively once the film is finished. That gives certainty and removes the need for bank discounting, a big plus for small indie projects.

There’s a tiny but skillful community of local producers to help foreign filmmakers navigate the system, including accessing subsidy coin from the Irish Film Board, which has a fund to back international pics shooting in Ireland.

BONUS: Section 481 applies to TV production as well as movies, which makes Ireland an attractive destination for high-end TV drama, such as Showtime’s “The Tudors.”

SHOT THERE: “Dorothy Mills,” “Triage,” “Cracks”

HOT SPOT: Post-production facility Windmill Lane in Dublin has been jammed with movies including Neil Jordan’s “Ondine” and Ian Fitzgibbon’s “A Film With Me in It.”

LINKS: Irish Film Board: irishfilmboard.ie