Section 481 provides relief in the form of a corporation tax credit related to the cost of production of certain films. The scheme is intended to act as a stimulus to the creation of an indigenous film industry in the State, creating quality employment opportunities and supporting the expression of the Irish culture.
Finance Act 2018 introduced a short-term, tapered regional uplift for productions being made in areas designated under the State aid regional guidelines. 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, to support the geographic spread of the audio-visual sector.
The uplift originally provided an increased level of credit for four years, with 5% available in years 1 and 2 (2019 and 2020), 3% available in year 3 (2021), 2% available in year 4 (2022). However in recognition of the detrimental impact the COVID-19 crisis had on the audio-visual sector, Finance Act 2020 amended the regional uplift to provide for an additional 5% year in 2021, in effect to replace the incentive year lost as a result of the COVID-related public health measures. The tapered withdrawal of the uplift then restarted this year with a reduction to 3%, it will reduce 2% in 2023, and Nil thereafter.
There are currently no plans to increase or extend the regional uplift, or to introduce alternative regional specific changes to the film tax credit. However I would note that the main film tax credit will remain available to qualifying productions in all areas of the country following the winding-down of the uplift.
In addition, there are a number of other supports already available to ensure the continued growth of the film industry across Ireland. I am informed by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (DTCAGSM) that Screen Ireland, the national development agency for the Irish film, television and animation industry, has recently announced an investment of over €2 million towards the establishment of five new National Talent Academies in Wicklow, Limerick, Galway and Dublin for film and tv drama, animation and production crew. These new Talent Academies will build on the success of the Section 481 skills model to develop and drive opportunities for diverse and regional talent on a national level.
Furthermore, in 2021 Screen Ireland launched funding for crew development hubs. These Regional Development Talent Academies will focus on regional talent development and inclusion, ensuring opportunities and support for new and diverse talent. This will ensure an overall national approach to creative talent, crew and workforce development in line with the significant growth ambition for the industry and commitment to social cohesion.
Also in 2021, Screen Ireland announced the Creative Futures fund as part of a commitment to grow strong and resilient companies throughout the country. The fund is designed to help support companies to strengthen and hone their expert creative capabilities and ambitions and build cultural resilience to enable high quality cultural projects. I am informed by DTCAGSM that 35% of successful companies were based regionally (outside of Dublin and Wicklow).