10 June 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

Irish Film and Television Network




Corporate Finance




Guidelines for Certification of Film Projects laid down by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, under Section 481 (1A) of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997(*).

(*)In November 1997, Section 35 of the Finance Act, 1987, inserted by Section 20 of the Finance Act, 1994 was consolidated in the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997.

1. For the purposes of certification, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (hereinafter called 'the Minister') must be satisfied that projects make a significant contribution to the national economy and Exchequer and/or act as an effective stimulus to the creation of an indigenous film industry in the State. The Minister will, in particular, bear in mind the importance of the promotion, development and enhancement of the national culture through the medium of film in the certification process.

2. In each case, certification, if granted, will be on the basis of the maximum achievable contribution as described above which is considered by the Minister to be attainable in the light of the circumstances existing at the time of the application.

3. The legislation requires:-

(i) that a minimum of 75% of the work on the production on the film be carried out in the State, subject to the right of the Minister in accordance with the guidelines for the time being laid down by him/her under the Section, to specify a lower percentage level, not being less than 10%,

(ii) that an absolute maximum of 60% of the cost of the overall production of the film may be raised by "relevant investments" (as defined therein); if the production work carried out in the State is less than 60% of the film's total production work [see (i)], the 60% maximum relevant investment condition is reduced pro rata; by this is meant the percentage of the production work which is carried out in the State subject to the overriding ceiling which provides that in any case not more than 60% of the production cost may be met by section 35 investments.

    Example 1

Total budget of film - 2,539,476 euro
% of production work carried out in the State - 30%
Investment allowable under Section 481 - 761,872 euro

    Example 2

Total budget of film - 2,539,476 euro
% of production work carried out in the State - 90%
Investment allowable under Section 481 - 1,523,686 euro

4. Applications to the Minister for a Certificate will be processed on a film by film basis and will require an outline by the applicant of the legal and financial arrangements put in place or intended to be put in place or intended to be put in place for bringing the film production to fruition. Submission of a Production Schedule indicating the number and breakdown by function of person-hours involved in the production of the film within and outside the State will also be required.

5. In general, the relaxation of the 75% rule will only be considered by the Minister if he or she is satisfied that a film is being funded by an Irish production company and a production company in some other State whether arising from a Co-production Agreement between Ireland and some other State or a strictly commercial arrangement between the two companies. Applications to the Minister for a certificate in which the 75% rule is requested to be relaxed must be accompanied by a copy of the completed co-production agreement or commercial arrangement between the Irish and non-Irish co-production companies.

6. All or any of the following criteria may also be taken into account by the Minister in coming to a decision to issue a certificate:-

(a) the number employed at all levels of the film project (development, pre-production, production and post-production) - including administrators, writers, actors, actresses, Heads of Department, production personnel - who are domiciled in Ireland, resident or ordinarily resident in the State and the proportion of those persons relative to the total number of persons employed at each level and stage of the film:

(b) the extent, type and quantity of training to be afforded to individuals domiciled, resident or ordinarily resident in the State in the development, pre-production, production, post-production stages;

(c) the amount of the film's budget actually spent on facilities available in the State e.g. studio facilities: supply houses for cameras, lights, post-production facilities etc. accommodation and catering; submission of a detailed Production Budget for the film project will be essential in this context;

(d) the scale of the planned project in terms of its impact on film-making activity in the State;

(e) the extent of film-making at the time the film project is due to commence;

(f) the record in relation to previous applications and general film-making reputation of the members of the applicant film production company;

(g) the amount of money that is actually ear-marked to be expended in the State;

(h) the transparency and suitability of the management structures put in place, or intended to be put in place, to receive and make use of section 481 investment for the purposes of producing and distributing films.

7. The Minister reserves the right to request the submission to him/her of audited accounts for a particular project on its completion in the format which corresponds with the information provided when the application for Certificate was made.

8. In all cases, it will be a condtion of the issue of a certificate that the Economic Database Form designed for all film, television and animation projects be completed and returned to the issuing organisation.

9. The holder of the Certificate will be required to inform potential investors in writing:-

- of the conditions under which the certificate has been issued


- that if the Minister considers there has been a failure to comply with any of the conditions under which the Certificate was issued, the legislation provides that any relief allowed may be withdrawn.

10. In coming to a decision whether or not to issue a Certificate, the Minister may seek the advice of Bord Scannán na hÉireann (the Irish Film Board), or such other person or body of persons as in the Ministers opinion may be of assistance to him/her in respect of the film project concerned.

11. The Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may from time to time change these guidelines as he/she sees fit."

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