Ireland’s 32% Tax Credit

Ireland's 32% Tax Credit

Section 481—Ireland's 32% Tax Credit for Film, Television & Animation

Ireland's 32% Tax Credit for Film and Television 

  • €70 million per project cap
  • No annual limit
  • International cast and crew working  in Ireland  qualify
  • Available on all goods and services sourced in Ireland

What is the ‘Section 481' benefit worth?

The rate of tax credit is worth up to 32% of eligible Irish expenditure.

Eligible expenditure criteria

The payable tax credit is based on the cost of all cast and crew working in Ireland, and all goods and services sourced in Ireland. This includes post production and/or VFX.

What types of projects qualify?

The incentive applies to feature film, television drama (singles  or series), animation (excluding computer games) and creative documentary. Projects must pass the Section 481 Cultural Test. 

What is the Section 481 Cultural Test?

All projects that are put forward to qualify for Section 481, the Irish tax incentive for film and television, are analysed by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and must meet three of the following cultural test criteria:

  1. The project is an effective stimulus to film making in Ireland, and is of importance to the promotion, development and enhancement of creativity and the national culture - through the medium of film, including, where applicable, the dialogue/narration is wholly or partly in the Irish language or the production of a full Irish-language version of the film is included as part of the total budget for the film.
  2. The screenplay (or, in the case of a documentary film, the textual basis) from which the film is derived is mainly set in Ireland or elsewhere in the EEA. 
  3. At least one of the principal characters (or documentary subjects) is connected with Irish or European culture.
  4. The storyline or underlying material of the film is a part of, or derived from, Irish or European culture and/or heritage; or, in the case of an animation film, the storyline clearly connects with the sensibilities of children in Ireland or elsewhere in the EEA.
  5. The screenplay (or textual basis) from which the film is derived is an adaptation of an original literary work.
  6. The storyline or underlying material of the film concerns art and/or an artist/artists.
  7. The storyline or underlying material of the film concerns historical figures or events.
  8. The storyline or underlying material of the film addresses actual, cultural, social or political issues relevant to the people of Ireland or elsewhere in the EEA; or, in the case of an animation film, addresses educational or social issues relevant to children in Ireland or elsewhere in the EEA.

Who is eligible to apply?

The application to Revenue is made by the ‘Producer Company'.

A ‘Producer Company' must:

  • Be Irish resident or trading through a branch or agency
  • Make  film and television for cinema exhibition or broadcast or online
  • Be trading for at least 21 months and have filed a corporation tax return with Revenue
  • Not be connected to a broadcaster
  • Hold 100% shareholding in a ‘Qualifying Company'

A ‘Qualifying Company' must:

  • Be Irish resident or trading through a branch or agency
  • Exist as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to make  one film

Is there a cap on the incentive?

There is no annual cap or limit on the funding of the programme, meaning there is no limit to the value of the cumulative tax credits payable by Revenue. The tax credit has a ‘per project' cap  of up to 32% of the lower of:

  1. All eligible expenditure
  2. 80% of the total cost of production
  3. €70 million

When is the rebate  paid?

Option A - Single  Instalment:

  • On delivery  of the project and submission of a compliance report to Revenue, payment of 100% of the tax credit may be paid by Revenue within 30 days.

Option B - Two Instalments:

  • First instalment being  90% of the tax credit due,  upon:
  1. Financial  Closing, including proof  that  68% of eligible expenditure is lodged to the project's production account;
  2. Irish Film Board approval (IFB funded projects only); or
  3. Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) approval (BAI funded projects only); or
  4. Where Revenue are provided with a guarantee, bond  or similar banking instrument which secures the 90% payment of the tax credit, and
  • Second and final instalment being  10% balance on delivery of the project and submission of compliance report to Revenue.

How is payment made by Revenue?

Payment of the relief may be claimed against the producer company's corporation tax (CT) liabilities. In the event the relief due is greater than any tax due by the producer company, then a payment of the excess will be made by Revenue.

Is there a minimum spend level?

Projects are excluded from the incentive if their ‘eligible expenditure' is less than  €125,000, or the total cost of production is less than €250,000.

When are applications made to Ireland's Revenue?

An application for a certificate entitling the applicant to the tax credit can be submitted at any time up to, but prior to, the completion of the project.

Irish Revenue Commissioners

Ireland's film and television tax credit is administered by Revenue. For contact details and further information visit www.revenue.ie

Further Guidance

The IFB recommends international producers who are considering making a film or TV project in Ireland work with an established Irish production company. Your Irish producer has strong existing relations with local crew and other service providers, and can provide the full range of production services, including the application to Revenue for the tax credit, as well as managing all stages of production including budgeting, scouting, scheduling, casting and crewing.

Useful Links

Screen Producers Ireland
www.screenproducersireland.com

Animation Ireland
www.animationireland.com

VFX Association Ireland
www.vfxai.com 

Media lawyers and accountants can provide advice about Ireland's film & TV tax credit. Contact information can be found in a variety of production directories including:

Irish Film and Television Network (IFTN)