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Netflix and Apple projects among highest beneficiaries of 2020 Section 481 film and television tax relief
23 Apr 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Apple and Netflix.
Revenue has released details of the beneficiaries of Ireland’s Section 481 Film & Television Tax Relief Scheme for 2020 with Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla and Apple’s Foundation availing of the top bracket of tax relief.

Section 481is a tax credit, incentivising Film, Animation & TV production made in Ireland and is administered by Ireland's Revenue Commissioners (Revenue).  It has proven hugely successful in attracting international production to Ireland and is a major driver of business and employment for those working in the sector as well as Ireland’s thriving studios.

The incentive applies to feature film, TV drama (singles or series), animation (excluding computer games), & creative documentary. Projects must either pass the Cultural Test or qualify as an official co-production under one of Ireland’s Bilateral Co-Production Treaties or the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production.

Major beneficiaries include Apple’s Foundation, Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla: 

For 2020 several high-profile productions secured section 481 Tax Relief. 

Apple TV’s Foundation is one of the largest ever television productions to take place here and employed more than 500 production staff. The  much anticipated 10-part series, adapted from Isaac Asimov’s celebrated sci fi novels, stars Chernobyl’s Jared Harris, and was filmed at Troy Studios in Limerick. It is due to debut on Apple TV Plus, in the autumn.

Wild Atlantic Pictures, the Irish company behind the €45 million series qualified for relief ranging from €10 million to €30 million for the production, with between €5 million and €10 million for the pilot episode alone.

Last year, the company also secured tax reliefs of between €5 million and €10 million for Netflix series Fate: The Winx Saga and tax reliefs between €2 million and €5 million for David Lowery’s much anticipated film The Green Knight, which stars Dev Patel.

Other recipients include Metropolitan Films who secured tax reliefs of between €10 million and €30 million in 2020 for the Vikings spin-off, Vikings: Valhalla. Like Vikings before it, Valhalla was shot Ashford Studios in Co Wicklow. It has a 24-episode series order from Netflix.

Animation Boost

Ireland’s booming Animation sector was also a major beneficiary 

Brown Bag Films’ Doc McStuffins, a worldwide hit with children all over the world, qualified for tax reliefs between €2 million and €5 million in 2020.

My Little Pony made by Boulder Media, qualified for between €10 million and €30 million while MyLittle Pony: Pony Life – qualified for tax reliefs between €1 million and €2 million.

Complete statistics concerning the total amount claimed under movie and tax relief are not yet available for 2020 and 2019 but it follows claims of €95 million in 2018, €73 million in 2017, €45 million in 2016 and €17 million for 2015.

Tom Collins: “For me it's all about the work, which is about creating a reflection of a modern Irish cultural identity that can travel beyond borders, history and these shores.”
Over €4.6m allocated by Creative Europe to Irish screen industry in 2021
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