Not alien to Bollywood, Ireland offers spectacular natural backdrops and a revised incentive package for film and TV productions
Breathtaking sceneries, cultural delights and truly captivating cities, Ireland, the third largest island in Europe, is much more than this. From eerie landscapes, to rolling hills, to the mighty Atlantic, to convoluted caves to the rich culture that took thousands of years to develop, everything in this country invites filmmakers to explore exciting locations.
Stone Age monuments make this place appear really old. While the history of Ireland dates back to around 6000BC and covers major events like the arrival of the Celts, Christianity, the Vikings and the Normans, the 11 major cities are the hub for the hip and happening, cosmopolitan lifestyle. Though these cities are not as large as other international cities, they foster the fast-paced vibrant way of living.
As well as being historic, vivacious, green and multi-ethnic, Ireland’s outstanding locales look splendid when captured on reel. Keeping in mind that production houses need finance to make films, the Irish government has increased the tax incentive to 28 per cent.
In 2008, the Irish government introduced new measures to strengthen the Irish tax incentive, Section 481, for film and television productions. This has dramatically improved Ireland’s competitive position as a location for international film and TV production.
The new improvements mean ceiling on qualifying expenditure for any one film has been raised from € 35 million to € 50 million. Qualifying expenditure includes all EU personnel and purchases of goods and services in the state. Projects may derive a benefit of up to 28 per cent of their eligible Irish expenditure.
The main benefits of Section 481 are:
• Worth up to 28 per cent of Irish budget
• Available to the production on the first day of principal photography
• Does not require bank discounting
• Available to both film and television productions
• Value is determined at the outset
• In place till 2020
Irish-resident independent producers can offer valuable expertise in maximising the amount of Section 481 finance for a production, as well as facilitating the smooth operation of the production schedule.
Other Fiscal Incentives Corporation Tax
Ireland enjoys an EU-approved Corporation Tax rate of 12.5 per cent which is the lowest in Europe. This applies to all corporate trading profits. This rate has been a focus of Ireland strategy to attract inward investment creating a favourable economic and fiscal environment which supports industry.
Tax Exemptions For Individuals
Individuals may locate in Ireland and enjoy tax-free income from their works under the artistes exemption scheme. It can apply to writers, including scriptwriters, visual artistes and composers. Where individuals become resident in Ireland, they are entitled, on making a claim, to have their earnings arising from the publication, production or sale of books, screenplay, plays and musical compositions, disregarded for tax purposes where the work or works involved are original and creative and have cultural or artistic merit.
Zero-Rated Value Added Tax
VAT (Sales Tax) is applicable to the supply of goods and services within the EU. Film production may avail of zero-rating under Section 13A of the VAT Act when the master negative is being exported.
The Irish government has entered into official co-production arrangements with Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The effect of these arrangements is that a film or television programme approved as an official co-production is regarded as a national production of each of the co-producing countries and is therefore eligible for any benefits or programs of assistance available in these co-production countries.
These co-production agreements were established to:
• Facilitate cultural and creative exchange between the co-production countries
• Allow the co-production countries to share the risk and cost of production
• To increase the output of high quality productions
To qualify as an official co-production under these agreements, there must be a co-producer in each country and there must be a balance between the Irish financial and creative contribution.