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Movie firm receives €85m in tax credits over three years 


Director’s cut: Irish actress Sarah Bolger in the TV show ‘Into the Badlands’

Director’s cut: Irish actress Sarah Bolger in the TV show ‘Into the Badlands’

Director’s cut: Irish actress Sarah Bolger in the TV show ‘Into the Badlands’

A County Wicklow-based movie group has received corporation tax credits totalling €85 million from the Revenue Commissioners over the past three years.

New accounts filed by Metropolitan Films International Ltd and its subsidiaries show that the group received corporation tax credits of €22 million in the 12 months to the end of April 2019 under Section 481 film tax credits.

The business received €25.47m in Section 481 film tax credits in fiscal 2018 and €37.48m in tax credits in fiscal 2017.

Metropolitan produces film and TV projects primarily by co-production of European and international studio projects.

Over the past three years it has produced the shows 'Vikings' and 'Into the Badlands'.

Other productions that it has received tax credits for since 2016 include 'Penny Dreadful' starring Eva Green and 'The Widow' movie.

The accounts show that revenues at the business last year fellby 85pc from €122.6m to €18.86m. The business is led by Ronan Flynn and James Flynn of Octagon Films which brought us 'Love/Hate' and 'The Borgias' while Morgan O'Sullivan also sits on the board with the Flynns.

As a result of the drop in activity at the company last year, staff costs fell sharply from €39.79m to €13.76m and the average number of employees droppped sharply to 342 from 1,301 in 2018 and the employees.

Production expenses last year declined to €39.76m from €146.35m and along with administrative expenses of €1.3m this contributed to a pre-tax loss of €22.48m.

The corporation tax film credit of €22.4m resulted in the firm recording a modest post tax loss of €82,437. The €22.4m received in corporation tax credits last year represent a sizeable portion of the movie and TV production tax credits paid out by Revenue over a 12 month period.

The tax credit is seen as a vital tool for the entertainment industry in attracting productions to Ireland.

Last year, Element Pictures' production of Sally Rooney's 'Normal People' was one of the big winners in movie tax reliefs granted by Revenue.

Element won tax relief for the TV adaptation of the bestseller of between €2m and €5m.

Irish Independent