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South Africa, Ireland Ink Film Tax Break Agreement

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

22 May 2012

On May 20, 2012, the South African Minister of the Department of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile and his Irish counterpart Jimmy Deenihan signed a co-production treaty that will provide access for filmmakers to opportunities and tax breaks in both countries.

The National Film and Video Foundation confirmed that, to date, South Africa has entered into four audiovisual co-production treaties - with Canada, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. On the other hand, Ireland has previously signed such treaties with Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Luxembourg.

The effect of these agreements is that a film or television programme, which is approved as an official co-production, is regarded as a national production of each of the co-producing countries, and is therefore eligible to apply for any benefits or programmes of assistance available in either country. In other words, companies from countries with co-production treaties get treated like local companies.

The new South Africa-Ireland treaty will therefore mean that co-productions can claim the national film funding and tax breaks available in both countries.

Commenting on the signing of the treaty, Deenihan said: "Co-production agreements matter because they open up new territories for film makers to explore and exploit. Today's agreement aims to allow Irish film makers and production companies to forge closer links with their South African counterparts, for the benefit of both parties. South Africa has a growing film production industry, with recent box office successes to its name.”

Mashatile added that he was "pleased to be signing this agreement with Ireland. The creative industry, which includes film, forms part of South Africa's drive to use the arts to tell our own stories and more importantly create sustainable employment.”

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining tax-sheltering arrangements for investors, including Venture Capital, Forest Finance and Film Finance in a number of key jurisdictions, is available in the Lowtax Library at and a description of the report can be seen at
TAGS: South Africa | tax | film finance | Ireland | law | corporation tax | agreements | tax breaks | Africa

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