Country Focus: Ireland
Irish Minister talks up tax breaks
by Naman Ramachandran
- Heather Humphreys, Ireland’s Minster for Arts, is bullish about the enhanced tax breaks in the film and television sector that came into effect January 1, saying that they will attract major international productions. The tax break scheme has been extended to 2020 and will increase the value of Section 481 to 32% of qualifying expenditure, from its current value of 28%.
Humphreys 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. The Irish film and TV production sector supports up to 6,000 jobs; I want to see that number grow in the years ahead. The changes to Section 481 will give a greater deal of certainty to the Irish audiovisual sector and will allow it to maintain the existing jobs in the sector and create new ones.”
“Under the changes, 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 UK and other countries in Europe. It was a fantastic achievement to bring Star Wars to Skellig Michael during the summer. And we have become home to some of the biggest TV shows, including The Tudors, Vikings and Penny Dreadful. When these shows come to Ireland, they hire local talent and crews and make a huge contribution to the local economy,” Humphreys added.