Updated Section 481 requires a Skills Development Plan

Updated Section 481 requires a Skills Development Plan - Crowe Ireland

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has issued new guidelines on Section 481, the Irish tax incentive for the film, television and animation industry.

There are a number of key changes in how to apply for the incentive, which are outlined in a previous article Updates to Section 481 film relief from Finance Bill 2018.

Together with these changes, a new requirement has been announced by Screen Ireland (the national development agency for the Irish film, television and animation industry) for producers to submit a Skills Development Plan for approval by Screen Ireland for all projects with eligible expenditure in excess of €2 million.

Producers will now need to set out the estimated number of employees on set likely to be upskilled in the course of the film and submit a Proposed Skills Development Plan which must be agreed in advance with Screen Ireland.

The production company is responsible for submitting their approved Skills Development Plan to Screen Ireland. Applications will be reviewed by Screen Ireland and Screen Skills Ireland (SSI) and amendments may be requested to the application, especially where specific skills deficits have been identified by the skills audit and industry engagement.

Applications will also require details on gender equality initiatives, diversity and inclusion initiatives together with a sustainability plan. The production company will be required to furnish a full compliance report after the project in order to receive a final compliance certificate to accompany an application for the final 10% of the Tax Credit.

Applications must be made 20 working days prior to making an application to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for certification under Section 481 Taxes Consolidated Act 1997.

Commenting on the changes James Hickey, Chief Executive, Screen Ireland said: “The new skills development requirement linked to the tax credit will provide a strong structured basis for the sector to grow and develop in the coming years. The new requirement is wide-ranging and inclusive, covering skills development across all levels of production, focusing on quality over quantity in terms of the outcomes it delivers.”

At Crowe we help clients bring a project from inception to the big and small screen. If you are embarking on a film-related project and would like assistance with your film financing contact our Film, Media & Creative Industries team.