New tax incentives will boost Ireland’s film industry by attracting more Hollywood producers to the country, it was claimed today.
The Irish Film Board (IFB) said the new measures improved Ireland’s competitive position as a location of international film production.
“This is a very significant move by the Government which will give Irish filmmakers renewed confidence in their own talents and their ability to compete internationally,” Simon Perry, chief executive of the board, said.
Under the new Finance Bill announced by Minister Brian Cowen, the Irish tax incentive for film making, Section 481, underwent a major revamp.
The new measures mean the percentage of expenditure on films eligible for tax relief will be raised to 80% for all films, up from levels of 55% or 66% and the ceiling on qualifying expenditure for any one film will be increased from €15m to €35m.
Chairman of the board, James Morris, said: “These significant improvements to Section 481 further demonstrate the Irish Government’s ongoing commitment to the growth of the Irish film industry and in particular Minister John O’Donoghue’s continued support.
“This good news follows the recent increase allocated to the capital budget for the Irish Film Board, which has been increased by 21% for 2006.”
Bank of Ireland welcomed the proposals as a significant step towards restoring Ireland’s competitiveness as a film-making location.
Tom Hayes, chief executive of Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking, said: “In recent years, countries around the world have been competing to win larger budget projects by providing a variety of incentives that offered benefits that, up to now, could not be matched in Ireland.
“The proposed changes will enable Ireland to once again compete for larger ‘blockbuster’ type projects. Such projects shine a welcome spotlight on Ireland as both a film location and a tourist destination.”
Mr Hayes said the tax changes would mean Ireland would be in a position to challenge for Hollywood pictures which would offer a wider range of quality film investment options for investors.