23 March 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Budget 2013: Irish Film Tax Incentive Extended Until 2020
05 Dec 2012 : By Eva Hall
Film Commissioner with the Irish Film Board and Minister Deenihan on the set of 'Vikings'
Updated 5pm: Minister Deenihan & IFB comments

The Irish tax incentive scheme, known widely as Section 481, has been extended until the year 2020, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan announced today.

Addressing the Dáil as he delivered Budget 2013, Minister Noonan said his department had carried out an Economic Impact Assessment of the current tax incentive scheme, and would extend it until 2020 as the department makes moves to move the scheme to a tax credit model in 2016.

There had been speculation in recent weeks among the Irish film and television industry that the Department of Finance was seeking to subsidise Section 481, and would only make it available to productions of a certain stature.

Minister Noonan abolished those claims today however when he said the future move to a tax credit model was to ensure better value for taxpayers’ money, and would make Ireland a more attractive filming location to international producers.

A number of international productions have benefited from the tax incentive in Ireland, most recently The History Channel’s ‘Vikings’, which employed more than 500 members of the film and television industry, and left more than €20m revenue behind.

Other projects which have taken advantage of Section 481 are BBC shows ‘Ripper Street’, ‘Loving Miss Hatto’ and ‘Inspector George Gently’, and ITV dramas, ‘Life of Crime’ and ‘Thirteen Steps Down’.

The Irish Film Board and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, welcomed the announcement today.

Chairman of the IFB James Morris commented: "The extension and future enhancement of the Irish tax incentive for the film and television industry demonstrates the commitment of the Irish government to the future of the Irish film and television sector and Ireland’s creative industries. These changes will strengthen the sector as an important contributor to the Irish economy, and will help the Irish Film Board to attract major film and television production activity to Ireland.

“Despite the economic difficulties Ireland has experienced over the past few years the Irish film, television and animation industry has experienced high levels of production activity, contributing over €150 million, in terms of Irish spend on jobs and services, to the Irish economy in 2011."

Minister Deenihan said: "This year alone a number of significant productions are filming in Ireland including 'Vikings' with an spend in Ireland of €25 million, and 'Ripper Street' with a spend of almost €11 million. The extension of the scheme is important for Ireland, for both the jobs that are supported by this sector and our location as a place for film and audiovisual investment."

Minister Deenihan has also confirmed that €60.7 million will be allocated for the Arts Council for 2013 from current, capital and European Presidency funding. Minister Deenihan commented: "This is the maximum possible funding that I can allocate to the Arts Council for next year, and is below the average reduction that I have had to apply across the board in my Department. This is also approximately double the funding allocated to the Arts Council in 2004."

Mr Morris added: “We look forward to working with the Department of Finance and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to ensure that these new measures enhance Ireland’s competitive international position for film, television and animation production."

The Budget announcement comes just weeks after a report called for Northern Ireland to introduce more lucrative tax incentives for the region, which would incorporate television projects as well as film. Northern Ireland currently offers the UK tax incentive scheme, but this is expected to change when Britain’s Budget 2013 is announced in March.

In recent months, Northern Ireland has played host to huge TV productions such as HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones and BBC shows ‘The Fall’ and ‘Nick Nickleby’.

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