Investors availing of Section 481 up 25% with films employing 27,000

The number of investors availing of Section 481 tax reliefs last year increased by 25%, leading to the creation of 27,000 jobs in the Irish film industry.

In a written Dáil reply to Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesperson, Michael McGrath, the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has confirmed that the number of people who worked on film productions last year topped 27,000.

Mr Noonan confirmed that the numbers of people investing in the Irish film industry last year climbed by 25% going from 3,372 to 4,217.

The investors are able to take advantage of the Section 481 film tax relief and Minister Noonan said that the cost to the Exchequer of the relief last year was €73.1m. This represents a 25% increase on the €58.5m cost to the exchequer in 2012.

According to the minister, the cost to the exchequer of film tax reliefs over the past four years amounts to €245m. He said that the 27,000 jobs includes approximately 20,000 employed as extras on these productions.

The Tudors, Camelot and Penny Dreadful have all been shot at Ardmore Studios and its chief executive, Siún Ní Raghallaigh said yesterday: “Section 481 has been the main driver for foreign direct investment in the Irish film and television industry.

“Film and television production is a mobile business and with Ireland’s film tax incentive, we are able to attract business here which would not otherwise produce here. We compete with other European countries for the business, all of whom have varying forms of tax incentives.”

Ms Ní Raghallaigh added: “The gross cost to the Exchequer is, of course, not the full picture. The Ibec Audiovisual Federation review in 2011 indicated that section 481 resulted in a net benefit to the Exchequer of €8.6m in 2010.”

She pointed out that Ardmore “is not a direct beneficiary of Section 481 funding, “since we rent our facilities to independent producers”.

The second series of Penny Dreadful is in pre-production at Ardmore Studios and Ms Ní Raghallaigh said: “Season 1 saw the direct employment of upwards of 350 cast and crew and an Irish spend in excess of €30m.”


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