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Irish Film Industry Calls For More Competitive Tax Incentives

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

26 December 2005


Continuing uncertainty over tax incentives for the Irish film and television sector are continuing to cast a shadow over the future of the industry, according to a recent report.

The Audiovisual Federation Review 2004/2005, which was published on Wednesday, showed that while TV production was up in 2004, it was a challenging year for production in the Irish film sector, which has seen overall expenditure decrease to EUR106.7 million in 2004 from EUR151.4 million in 2003.

"While there were some notable feature film productions including Paramount’s The Honeymooners, Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto and Noel Pearson’s Tara Road, the number and value of incoming international productions has decreased since 2003," observed Kevin Moriarty, Managing Director of Ardmore Studios.

Mr Moriarty attributed the decline in Irish film productions over the past year to the fall in the value of the dollar and increased competition from other territories. The industry is calling on the government to improve the tax breaks known as Section 481 incentives, which some feel have discouraged big-budget productions from choosing to shoot in Ireland.

"While 2004 was a challenging year it did contribute a net gain to the Irish exchequer of €12.2 million. The increased Irish spend by the independent TV sector, notably by RTE, TG4 and the animation sector, compensated for the decline in feature film," noted Tommy McCabe, Director of the Audiovisual Federation.

"Ongoing discussions are taking place with the Government in relation to improving Section 481 film incentives, which would significantly improve the competitiveness of the Irish film sector if implemented," Mr McCabe added.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining tax-sheltering arrangements for investors, including Forest Finance, Film Finance, Venture Capital, is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report5.asp

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