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S481 Relief in Place Until 2004
05 Dec 2002 :
In his budget yesterday, Minister McCreevy has brought 'forward to 31 December 2004 the termination date for film relief from 5 April 2005. Given the current and prospective budgetary position, and the desire to improve equity in the tax system, there is no justification for a continuation of this relief beyond 2004."

Rod Stoneman of the Irish Board commented to IFTN today, "It would be extraordinary if the Government denies itself the significant net financial benefits to the Irish economy, which are generated by Section 481. Apart from underpinning the continued success of the indigenous industry, this tax incentive is essential to maintaining Ireland's attraction as a location for international productions. In addition, the film industry has important positive effects on other parts of the economy such as Tourism."

The Audiovisual Federation has also commented that this scheme underpins Ireland's developing film industry. The sector has consistently given positive net returns to the Irish exchequer. "The forthcoming Audiovisual Federation report on the Economic Impact of Film Production in Ireland - 2001 (to be launched on the 11th of December 2002), shows that a net tax receipt contribution of €23.6 million was returned to the exchequer after allowing for taxes foregone. Positive returns to the Exchequer have been made every year since 1993", said Tommy McCabe, Director of the AVF. "The sector supports a high level of employment, with 17,435 people involved in film production in 2001, which translated into an equivalent of 1,501 full time jobs."

However, McCabe welcomed the fact that the benefits of Section 481 have not been undermined by yesterday's announcement on Tax Incentive Schemes. He goes on to say that the retention, up to 31 December 2004, Section 481 in the budget is an important measure for the film industry in Ireland given the current economic climate.

The Federation intends to continue its engagement with the government, through its film financing committee, over the coming months to ensure that appropriate measures exist to ensure the future of the Irish film industry.

Tania Banotti, outgoing director Film Makers' Ireland, “We welcome the fact that Section 481 will continue until 2004 & that the Minister has recognised it still has a crucial role to play, albeit for a shorter time. As a result, the industry can see its way forward for the next 2 years.

We will now be engaging with the Department on the longer term strategy for film and TV production in Ireland”

Elaine Gill of Anglo Irish Bank was concerned that any amendments to the current relief through S481 would have had a very series effect with ongoing Anglo Irish Bank financed projects, and can report that with no amendments to S481 for the next two years projects can go ahead as planned.

Send IFTN your comments on the Minister's Budget announcements about S481.

Irish Film Board
IBEC's Audiovisual Federation
Filmmakers' Ireland
Anglo Irish Bank

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