Country Focus: Ireland
IFB report recommends higher tax incentive
by Naman Ramachandran
26/11/2008 - A new report published by the Irish Film Board (IFB) has recommended a major change to the current tax incentive for film – Section 481 – that runs till 2012. The report proposes that the tax incentive be increased, which can be done by increasing the investor write-off from 80 to 100%.
The report, titled Restoring Viability and Balance to the Irish Film Production Industry, was prepared by the IFB in response to a request from Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen. If implemented, the change could well make Ireland a desirable location for international projects. Currently, Ireland fails to attract large US studio films, as it used to in its heyday.
IFB Chairman James Morris said, “As a direct result of this change, Ireland will be able to offer a 28% net benefit to international film producers to attract major feature films to shoot on location in Ireland, making Ireland an extremely competitive location for film production. In recent years the direct employment levels in the industry have increased substantially and this amendment will ensure that, despite the current economic climate, employment levels in the industry will be maintained.”
Though the report was tabled in September, the Irish government has not implemented any of the suggested changes in the film tax regime in its recent Finance Bill. However, the IFB will continue to try and get the changes included when the Bill goes through its committee stages in the coming weeks.
Increased film production in Ireland means increased investment in the economy, increased employment, and positive spin-off effects for promoting Ireland as a tourist location.