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A planned expansion of the tax relief available for film and TV productions made in Ireland, such as Brooklyn is being probed by the European Commission.

The European authorities have yet to approve a measure in last October’s budget, which would raise the cap on the amount of production expenditure that would qualify for tax relief from €50m to €70m. The scheme is intended to attract big-budget productions to Ireland, finance minister Michael Noonan has said. The commission’s approval is required before the change can be made, however, because the tax relief amounts to state aid.

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The commission is also holding up the introduction of tax relief for farm succession, also announced by Noonan in the budget. The scheme was intended to encourage older farmers to form partnerships with younger trained farmers and transfer ownership of their farms within a specified period. It involves a tax credit of up to €5,000 a year for five years for the partnership.

In a written response to a question from Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath, the department of finance confirmed the two schemes were still awaiting EC approval.

Andy McGowan
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