Ireland, Film Financing and Television Programming | KPMG | US

Ireland, Film Financing and Television Programming: A Taxation Guide

Ireland, Film Financing and Television Programming


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Ireland has produced many critically acclaimed films in recent years. Notable successes have included My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, and Michael Collins. Film producers, script writers, and actors alike have enjoyed tremendous success as a result of filming on Irish shores. Furthermore the following films which were produced in Ireland have also achieved tremendous acclaim on the international stage: 

  • Calvary (2013) which starred Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, has won the Best Lead Actor (Film) award, the Best Film award and the Best Screenplay (Film) award at the 2014 Irish Film and Television Awards and has been nominated in four categories for the upcoming British Independent Film Awards, including “Best Film.”
  • The Guard (2011) also starred Brendan Gleeson, who was nominated for a Golden Globe award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical.” 
  • The Secret of Kells (2009) was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Animated Feature Film of the Year” and won an Audience Award at the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival.
  • Once (2007), which starred Irish actor and singer-songwriter Glen Hansard, won an Oscar for best original song written for a motion picture. It has won a number of further awards including the Audience Award at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival for “World Cinema – Dramatic.”
  • The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) was the winner of the momentous “Palme D’Or Award” at the Cannes Film Festival. The Wind that Shakes the Barley starred Irish actor Cillian Murphy. Since the production of this film, Cillian Murphy has enjoyed considerable success and has gone on to star in films such as Red Eye and Breakfast on Pluto  
It is clear from the dramatic images demonstrated in films such as Calvary (2013),  Braveheart (1995), and Saving Private Ryan (1998) that Ireland’s scenic countryside, dramatic coastline and picturesque views have much to offer film producers and actors alike. 
Irish-produced television drama series such as Love/Hate, Raw, The Tudors, Vikings, and  The Clinic have also been extremely successful. Apart from the wealth of literary and creative talent, which Ireland has always had in abundance, a sizeable pool of very experienced film technicians is also available to crew any production. The Irish government is committed to the continued development of a vibrant Irish film industry and supports the industry through tax incentives for film production and through the Irish Film Board, a development agency. As a result, Ireland is a very attractive location for film investment and continues to be used by overseas producers. The key attractions of Ireland include:
  • Experienced crews and facilities
  • Cooperative State agencies
  • English-speaking
  • Tax-efficient finance through Section 481 relief
  • Tax-relief for some scriptwriters and composers
  • Certain income of foreign expatriates is exempt from tax
  • One of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world. 

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