Press Release

Irish Equity calls for reform of film industry tax credit in Budget 2023

Date Released: 05 September 2022

Irish Equity, the union which represents professionals in the live performance and theatre sector, has called for reform of film industry tax breaks in Budget 2023 to ensure a fair return for taxpayers and greater protection of the interests of all those employed in the sector.

Irish Equity President, Gerry O’Brien, said: “The Government must ensure that the Section 481 film tax credit delivers value to the taxpayer, drives innovation in the audio-visual sector and delivers on its promise of quality work for all film workers including actors.

“The section 481 tax credit is one of the largest taxpayer investments in our film industry, so it is vital that the public sees a real return on that. This includes changes to the eligibility criteria to widen access and drive innovation as well as ensuring that producers are required to observe all relevant legislation including national and international copyright legislation. 

“It also necessitates re-examining the current corporate structures to ensure that public investment secures a fair return, if and when a project becomes successful. This must include an ability to track the investment across multiple territories and platforms.”

He added: “Our industry is going from strength to strength. We are developing more and better indigenous projects and servicing ever larger international productions. It is vital that we ensure that the people investing in all of this, including taxpayers and the people doing the work, the actors and crew, are appropriately protected and rewarded. What we’re suggesting in this submission will go a long way to ensuring that, at no additional cost to the State.”

Irish Equity Organiser, Michelle Quinn, added: “Among the other items contained in our budget proposals is a call for the introduction of a scheme similar to the 481 film tax credit for the live theatre sector.”

She added: “State support for the arts and culture sector remains below the EU average. Tax incentives are another way of driving investment into the sector. This could assist in driving the development of a viable commercial sector for live theatre in Ireland, boosting production, fostering greater international touring and creating quality work for our members.”


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