The Irish government is considering targeted tax relief to support its videogame industry, with one politician describing the game business as "an enormous global industry with great potential and benefit for job creation."
Ireland's Sunday Business Post reports that culture minister Jimmy Deenihan (above) is open to the prospect of extending Section 481 – which allows investors to claim full tax relief on an investment of up to €50,000 in a film or television production – to cover videogames as well.
"I will publish a report shortly on the creative industry and, although it will not deal directly with [Section 481], it will obviously bring much attention to the entire sector," Deenihan said in response to a question from Robert Troy of Fianna Fail.
When asked directly if tax relief could be offered to the Irish videogame industry, he replied that he would "certainly consider it, and will suggest it to the minister for finance."
Perhaps mindful of the UK's handling of games tax relief – chancellor George Osborne reneged on plans to introduce the measure last June, dismissing it as "poorly targeted" – Deenihan made it clear that Section 481 would only be extended if did not pose "too much of a loss to the exchequer."
In 2009, a total of €99.9 million was invested in Irish film and television projects, generating a tax benefit of some €40.9 million. The likes of Blizzard, PopCap, Zynga, Havok and Zenimax have bases in the Irish Republic.
Source: Sunday Business Post