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The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Mary Hannafin announced the extension of the film and television tax investment scheme – Section 481 – for a further three years to end 2015. Announcing the decision, Minister Hanafin said “the current scheme was due to expire at the end of 2012 and because of its significant and positive impact on this sector a decision was taken by the Government today to extend it in the Finance Bill.”

The Finance Act of 2008 extended the scheme for four years until the end of 2012, increased the overall ceiling on qualifying expenditure from €35m to €50m, increased the individual investor cap for those wishing to invest finance in film in Ireland to €50,000 per annum from the previous limit of €31,750 and increased the relief on that investment to 100 percent from 80 percent.

Minister Hanafin said “the changes introduced in 2008 were significant and gave the Irish audiovisual sector a major boost in challenging times. In 2010, a total of 57 projects were approved for funding with an Irish spend of some €165m. These 57 projects supported employment for crew, cast and extras of over 10,000 individuals and had the effect of maintaining and creating jobs in a very difficult economic climate, while at the same time producing a product that will help to sell Ireland abroad.”

The current changes will result in Ireland being able to offer somewhere in the region of 26 percent and 28 percent net benefit to film producers, up from the previous 20 percent.