Section 481 TCA 1997 provides a 32% payable credit for eligible expenditure on film production in Ireland. It is available to Irish and international film production companies that are resident in the State or in an EEA State and carry on business in the State through a branch or subsidiary.
In addition to extending the credit's end date from 2020 to 2024, Finance Bill 2018 provided for a short-term, tapered regional uplift, commencing at 5%, for productions being made in areas designated under the State aid regional guidelines. The regional uplift will be introduced subject to State aid approval.
The regional uplift will be phased out on a tiered basis with 5% available in years 1 and 2, 3% in year 3, 2% in year 4, and reducing to 0% from year 5 on. The purpose of the regional uplift is to support the development of new, local pools of talent in areas outside the current main production hubs and to support the geographic spread of the audio-visual sector.
In considering whether the regional film development uplift applies, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht shall have regard to the following factors -
i. whether the production of the film is substantially undertaken in an assisted region;
ii. whether there is limited availability of individuals with suitable experience or training who habitually reside within a 45 kilometre radius of the place of production to provide services, and
iii. in respect of the areas of expertise where there is limited availability, the company provides training for individuals that habitually reside within that 45 kilometre radius.
The regions availing of the uplift will currently be limited to areas in Ireland sanctioned to receive regional aid under the EU regional aid guidelines.
The EU Regional Aid Guidelines (RAGS) allow each Member State to provide enhanced rates of State aid in the least economically developed areas of each country. This enables the State’s enterprise development agencies to grant State aid, at enhanced rates, to businesses in order to support new investment and new employment in productive projects in Ireland's most disadvantaged regions.
As I advised during Report stage of the Finance Bill process, should it transpire through conversations with the Commission that the geographic regions able to avail of the uplift can be amended, the extension of the uplift to include other regions may be something we can consider.
Additionally, I would like to advise the Deputy that the notification process has begun but it is currently not possible to give a definitive timeline as to when this process will be completed.