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Star Wars movie receives €3.43m in tax credits from Revenue

The shooting of scenes on Skellig Michael and elsewhere has provided a boost to the Irish tourism industry.

Source: Discover Ireland/YouTube

THE PRODUCTION FIRM behind the Star Wars blockbuster movie The Last Jedi received €3.43 million in tax credits from the Revenue Commissioners last year.

The production crew for the film shot scenes involving Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker character at Skellig Michael while parts of the film were shot in other Irish locations such as Malin Head in Co Donegal and Ceann Sibeal in Co Kerry.

Now, new accounts for Pinewood Productions Ireland Ltd confirm the pay-out of €3.43 million during the 12 months to the end of March 2018 for its movie Space Bear.

Space Bear was the working title given to The Last Jedi, which was released in December 2017 to global hype.

The €3.43 million in tax credits represents only loose change from the movie’s global box office of $1.3 billion (about €1.14 billion).

The first instalment of the new Star Wars Trilogy, The Force Awakens, had a global box office return of just over $2 billion (about €1.76 billion), and Disney made a further global bonanza from the sale of tie-in toys from the movies.

A note attached to the accounts of Pinewood Productions Ireland Ltd state the tax credit was received from Revenue under Section 481 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. The note states that the €3.43 million was transferred to another Irish based firm, Space Bear Ir DAC.

It adds that the €3.43 million is subject to the satisfaction of all qualifying conditions of the certs issued to the company and failure to satisfy the conditions could result in a full clawback of the amounts.

Tourism boost 

The shooting of the scenes on Skellig Michael has provided a boost to the Irish tourism industry, particularly in west Kerry.

The Unesco World Heritage site stole the show in the 2015 Force Awakens when Daisy Ridley’s character Rey tracked down Skywalker in the final scene.

Fáilte Ireland has previously stated that locals have seen a positive economic benefit in business since the filming of Star Wars, particularly with regard to boat providers, restaurants, pubs and accommodation.

To capitalise on the tourist windfall and control, Fáilte Ireland launched a new Visitor Experience Plan for the Skellig Coast area in 2017.

The Fáilte Ireland plan aimed to bring the Star Wars benefit beyond Skelligs and increase visitor dwell time in the wider region surrounding the iconic attraction.

Last year, movie and TV production firms lodged claims seeking corporation tax credits from the Revenue Commissioners totalling €95 million in 2018 – double the amount claimed in 2016

However, incorrect claims for the tax credits are currently leading to a backlog of claims being processed by the Revenue Commissioners.

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Gordon Deegan

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