Compulsory reading. On a quick overview it seems as if a lot of the spin around the tax break has been de-bunked, at last.
Economic Impact Assessment of Section 481 Film Relief
December 2012, Dept. of Finance.
"However maintaining Section 481 in its current format does not appear to be sustainable. The scheme as currently operated fails a cost benefit analysis, has a high level of inefficiency in terms of leakage and is inequitable due to its reliance on high income individuals which itself is inconsistent with Government commitments to ‘cap or abolish tax shelters which benefit very high income earners’."
And on the proposed introduction of a tax credit model (with a Revenue-policed early pay-out for producers)...
"If such a model were in place in 2011, it would have resulted in a 32% exchequer saving. Based on the same level of qualifying expenditure this would have reduced the exchequer cost from €46.5m to €32m as the rate of relief would have been at 28% (in line with the producer benefit) rather than 41% (at the investor’s marginal income tax rate). This saving would also have improved the outcome of the cost benefit analysis."
And here's the question floating like a pink elephant in the room - against what taxes will production companies be able to raise levels of funding in 2016 equivalent to those now pouring from the Section 481 tap?
PS - still no official word on the IFB's capital and current budget for 2013, despite press releases from the Minister and IFB Chair welcoming the moves on Section 481. The Department's budget for the total Arts, Culture & Film section is €107.24m (-5% on 2012) of which it has announced that €60.7m (-3% on 2012) is for the Arts Council. "This is the maximum possible funding that I can allocate to the Arts Council for next year, and is below the average reduction that I have had to apply across the board in my Department."