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Section 481 Cap Increases to €50 million
23 Mar 2009 :
Adams stars in Leap Year
Amendments to the Irish film taxation, Section 481, have been approved following the signing of a Commencement Order by Irish Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan. Proposed in the Finance Act 2008 and the Finance (No2) Act 2008, the Commencement Orders were issued after approval had been obtained for the amendments from the European Commission.

The amendments are to increase the cap per project to €50 million (from €35 million), the individual investor cap for those wishing to invest finance in film in Ireland will increase to €50,000 per annum (up from the current limit of €31,750) and there will be a 100% relief on that investment - previously the relief was at 80%.

Martin Cullen, TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism welcomed the move; he said:

“The film and T.V. production industry is a fast moving and competitive global one. Ireland has now done what is essential to remain competitive in this crucial high-end inward investment industry. The investment pipeline for this year is promising and I believe that these adjustments to the tax investment regime will be the catalyst in securing those opportunities for Ireland."

Minister Cullen added: “The film industry is the cornerstone of a smart and creative digital economy and with today's announcement Government acknowledge its importance at this crucial time in our economic story. I believe that the provision will sustain and grow employment in this sector in the years ahead, grow our production capacities and help to embed this key creative industry. I encourage an Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and the sector, to spearhead a major drive to deliver on this initiative.”

Irish producer Morgan O' Sullivan, who begins production on the $16.5m (Euros 21.4m) US co-production ‘Leap Year’ starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode this month, commented: "We very much acknowledge that Minister Cullen's foresight in improving the incentive has resulted in Ireland now competing again at the highest level in the large-budget, international feature film production market."

The project will begin shooting this week in various locations across Ireland including the Aran Islands, Connemara, Dublin, Ardmore Studios and Wicklow National Park. The budget of $16.5 million will create jobs for 150 crew and will hire 1500 extras over the filming period.

Section 481, which extends to 2012, has been amended in order to restore the competitiveness of Ireland as an international film and television location. As a result of these amendments, Ireland is now in a position to offer an extremely attractive package to international producers who choose Ireland as a location, comparing favourably with international competitors.

James Morris Chairman Bord Scannan na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board said: “All European countries have tax incentives to support their screen based industries and the improvements to the Irish tax incentive now allows Ireland to compete on an equal basis. This is particularly important in the present economic climate given the clear direct employment generated by the audio visual sector and the opportunity to strategically develop Ireland’s screen based industries into a long-term growth sector as part of a new generation of export earners in the future.”

The Irish audiovisual industry is valued at over €557.3 million, employs over 6,000 individuals and represents 0.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).



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