Martin Cullen, Ireland's arts and film minister has confirmed that improvements to Ireland's Section 481 film and TV tax break are to be introduced as amendments to the country's 2009 Finance Bill.

It is proposed that the cap on individual investments will increase to $65,000 (Euros 50,000) per annum (up from the current limit of $41,000 (Euros 31,750) and that there will be a 100% relief on that investment. The current relief is set at 80%.

The proposed changes follow recommendations made in September by the Irish Film Board.

Film Board chairman James Morris has claimed that the changes will result in a higher benefit to producers.

'Ireland will be able to offer a 28% net benefit to international film producers, making Ireland an extremely competitive location for film production,' said Morris.

In a release today Cullen said, 'These amendments to the Finance Bill will allow the Irish film sector to compete internationally to bring major inward investment productions to Ireland, while strengthening indigenous film and TV production.'

The changes come at a time when Ireland's effective tax rate for higher earners is being increased due to the negative economic climate.

The increased tax write-off for film investment should therefore make it more attractive to Irish investors, fewer of whom will now be needed to create a sufficient pool of finance for each production shot in Ireland.

While Ireland did not attract any major US feature films this year, Irish film Board-funded film and television projects contributed over $97m (Euros 75m) to the Irish economy in 2008.

The Film Board believes that the improvements to the Irish tax incentive for film production will have the direct effect of increasing the return to Ireland's economy in 2009.