Tax Incentives Lure Film and TV Production to Ireland

Changes to Ireland’s film and TV production tax incentive now make the country one of the most generous production environments in the world.

On Jan. 1, 2015, Ireland upped its tax incentive, known as Section 481, from 28% to 32% and amended the credit so that non-European Union talent, including Hollywood actors and actresses, will count as part of the qualifying expenditure. This means tax relief can now be claimed on the salaries of cast and crew hired to work in Ireland, irrespective of their nationality.

Huge Tax Break
Ireland’s recently increased tax incentive has encouraged more production
1st Jan. 1, 2015 – tax incentive introduced
28% to 32% – Amount by which incentive was raised
2020 Year incentive will expire unless it’s renewed
80% Portion of production cost upon which incentive can be claimed
$76.95m Annual cap on incentive

The incentive, which has been extended until the end of 2020, is available to film, television drama, animation and docus that are able to pass an Irish cultural test or qualify as an official co-production under one of Ireland’s bilateral co-production treaties or under the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production.

Due to European Union rules, a tax incentive can only be claimed on 80% of the budget in any one country, so Section 481 can be claimed on up to 80% of the total cost of production with a cap of €70 million ($76.95 million).

The changes were made by the Irish government in a bid to match incentives in neighboring U.K. and other European production hotspots. Among recent projects to lense in the territory was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which filmed on Skellig Michael, an island in County Kerry, and TV series “Vikings” and “Penny Dreadful.”

Naturally, homegrown projects such as mental health drama “Patrick’s Day,” directed on location by Terry McMahon (above, center), will continue to film on the Emerald Isle, taking advantage of the production infrastructure made possible by the arrival of foreign coin.

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