Ireland’s new tax breaks under “Section 481” are aimed at luring Hollywood film and television productions overseas, Arts Minister Heather Humphreys announced on Thursday.
Under the new guidelines, which kicked in on Jan. 1, the definition of an “eligible individual” has been extended to include non-E.U. talent. Essentially, this inclusion is meant for those stars currently living in the Los Angeles area to find their way to the Emerald Isle.
“This will boost the attractiveness of Ireland as a destination for film investment, and brings us into line with the U.K., and other countries in Europe,” Humphreys said, according to The Irish Independent.
Specifically, the tax incentive applies to feature films, TV drama, animation, and creative documentaries, and has been extended through 2020. Ireland currently has 6,000 people employed in the entertainment productions sector — a number that Humphreys expects to see rise as a result.
“Ireland has developed a strong reputation as being a superb film location in recent years. It was a fantastic achievement to bring ‘Star Wars’ to Skellig Michael during the summer,” she said. “And we have become home to some of the biggest TV shows, including the ‘Tudors,’ ‘Vikings’ and ‘Penny Dreadful.’
“When these shows come to Ireland, they hire local talent and crews, and make a huge contribution to the local economy,” Humphreys continued.
“The Film Board are here not only to develop our own talent but to entice U.S. and international producers,” James Hickey, head of the Irish Film Board, added. “That’s why a well organized tax credit is a vital part of the marketing of Ireland.”
“2014 has been hugely successful,” he continued. “Showing films at Cannes and Sundance was incredibly important. Not only do they heighten our profile but they result in North American distribution deals.”
Hickey concluded: “People now realize that in terms of quality and production, Irish films stand up in an international market.”
Additional improvements to the incentive may be announced soon, Humphreys said.