Three TV shows and films got €10m-plus in tax credits in 2018

Some 86 TV and film productions got tax reliefs here last year, according to Revenue

Three large-scale television and film productions qualified for Irish tax credits of €10 million-€30 million last year, according to figures from Revenue.

The TV adaptation of George RR Martin’s Nightflyers was one of the biggest beneficiaries of this tax relief. The production qualified for corporate tax credits of €10 million-€30 million, under the State’s section 481 tax relief scheme last year.

The TV series, adapted from the Game of Thrones Martin’s sci-fi novella was made at Troy Studios in Limerick, and received its first airing on the American channel SyFy in December.

The others in that bracket were series six of Vikings, shot at Ashford Studios in Wicklow, and series three of Into the Badlands, shot in Dublin and Wicklow.


A Department of Finance report published last October for Budget 2019 put the cost of the section 481 tax credit scheme in 2015-2017 at €242.5 million.

Accounts filed for series five of Vikings by VK Five Productions show that overall production costs totalled €76.4 million.

Over a 14-month period, the staff costs from the series totalled €41.32 million. Some 484 people were employed on the shoot over the 14 months made up of 246 crew members, 230 in stunts and eight in finance, clerical and administration roles.

The series, filmed at Ashford Studios, recorded profits of €2.1 million in 2017, and the studio currently has an application for a €90 million extension before An Bord Pleanála.

Oscar companies

In total, 86 productions received tax reliefs here last year, and the section 481 list for 2018 features Irish production firms celebrating Oscar nominations.

Element Pictures’ Redwater, made for the BBC, qualified for corporate tax credits €2 million-€5 million. Element Pictures was celebrating on Tuesday after its production The Favourite received 10 Oscar nominations.

Element also qualified for tax credits of less than €500,000 for the Roddy Doyle-scripted film Rosie, which told the story of a mother trying to protect her family after they became homeless.

The Dublin production group also qualified for tax credits of €500,000-€1 million for its co-production Calm with Horses, featuring rising star Barry Keoghan.

Cartoon Saloon was also celebrating yesterday its Oscar nomination for Late Afternoon with Revenue figures showing that the Kilkenny group qualified for tax credits in the €2 million-€5 million range for its Pete the Cat production.

RTÉ’s recent prime-time Sunday night drama Taken Down qualified for tax credits of €1 million-€2 million, while Finding Joy, written by and starring Amy Huberman, qualified for corporate tax credits up to €500,000. Series seven of Game of Thrones qualified for tax credits up to €500,000.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times