Government needs to consider response to UK film tax incentive to protect Irish industry, warns lobby group

Call from Audiovisual Ireland comes in the wake of Irish success at Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles

A lobby group for the Irish screen industry has called on the Government to consider bringing in new incentives to safeguard Ireland’s film sector in response to new tax reliefs in the UK.

Audiovisual Ireland, which operates under the umbrella of employers’ group Ibec, said the film industry here had achieved “remarkable success” in recent years, with the section 481 tax incentive playing a pivotal role.

The call comes in the wake of Irish success at the Oscars on Sunday night, with Cork’s Cillian Murphy picking up the Best Actor award for his lead role in the hit movie Oppenheimer.

However, the UK government last week increased tax breaks for productions that equated to about a 40 per cent relief, while reliefs for visual effects were also introduced.


The group, which represents animation, film and television production, post-production and VFX, broadcasters, screen content studios, and cable and satellite service providers, said the new British tax reliefs that had the potential to lure business away from Ireland needed to be carefully scrutinised.

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“We want to look closely at what the British have announced and have a think about a response in due course, because there is a risk,” said Audiovisual Ireland’s Torlach Denihan. “At the end of the day, if the numbers stack up, that’s where productions will go – either north of the Border or across the sea.”

The screen industry here supports 12,000 jobs and accounts for more than €700 million in annual production activity, which could be at risk if productions go to the UK instead.

The group is calling on the Government to investigate the possibility of introducing an elevated Section 481 tax credit for visual effects digital production, modelled on the French TRIPS tax incentive.

Audiovisual Ireland is also seeking more action on digital piracy, which it says threatens employment in the screen industry here. It is seeking the establishment of a digital piracy section within An Garda Síochána’s Intellectual Property Unit to target resellers of pirated content.

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