Ireland Raises Production Incentive to 32%, Adds U.S. Talent to Eligible Costs

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' filmed on the island of Skellig Michael, off the coast of Ireland, during the summer

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LONDON – Ireland has raised its film and TV production tax incentive from 28% to 32%, and amended the incentive so that non-European Union talent, including Hollywood actors and actresses, will count as part of the qualifying expenditure. The incentive, known as Section 481, has been extended until the end of 2020.

The amendments to Section 481, which Variety first reported in October 2013, came into effect on Thursday.

Heather Humphreys, Ireland’s Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said: “Our film and TV production sector is going from strength to strength, despite the economic challenges we have faced in recent years. I want to make Ireland a first choice destination for international filmmakers, and improving the tax breaks available under Section 481 will be essential to achieve this.”

Humphreys said that the changes would help Ireland match the incentives in neighboring U.K. and other European production hotspots.

“Under the changes which come into effect from (Jan. 1), the definition of ‘eligible individual’ is being extended to include non-EU talent, so major Hollywood actors and actresses will be included. This will boost the attractiveness of Ireland as a destination for film investment, and brings us into line with the U.K. and other countries in Europe.”

Among recent productions to shoot in Ireland was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which filmed on Skellig Michael, an island in Co. Kerry, during the summer. Other productions include TV series “Vikings” and “Penny Dreadful.”