Banshees of Inisherin and Valhalla co-producer receives €34.5m in corporation tax credits

Gordon Deegan

The co-producer of the multi-Oscar nominated Banshees of Inisherin, Netflix's Viking drama, Valhalla and global hit TV series, Jamie Dornan’s The Tourist last year received €34.49 million in Revenue movie and TV corporation tax credits.

Metropolitan Films International Ltd and subsidiaries is the largest operator in the co-production of movies here.

New accounts show that the €34.49 million the Co Wicklow-based production group received in Section 481 tax credits in the 12 months to the end of April 2023 was less than half the €72.52 million received in the prior year.

The directors state that the main activity of the group is that of producing films and TV series here, primarily by way of co-production of incoming European and international studio projects.

The group last year recorded revenues of €94.2 million, which was down €45 million or 32 per cent on the revenues of €139.2 million in 2022.

The group’s co-production credits include Banshees of Inisherin starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon.

Numbers employed across the group last year declined by 337 from 785 to 448 as staff costs were reduced from €53.8 million to €31.87 million.

The directors state that the employees “were employed directly by the production company subsidiaries”.

A note attached to the accounts states that the nature of the Group's trade resulted in the majority of employees being contracted for a condensed period and therefore a significantly higher number of employees than the average reported were employed.

The group’s overall production expenses declined by €86.15 million from €211.24 million to €125.09 million, resulting in a gross loss of €30.87 million.

Administrative expenses of €3.64 million contributed to the group recording a pre-tax loss of €34.5 million and the Section 481 corporation tax credit of €34.49 million resulted in a modest post-tax profit of €19.748.

The individual tax breaks for each production are not disclosed in the accounts though figures published by Revenue show that Series 3 of Valhalla last May qualified for Revenue 481 movie tax reliefs between €10 million and €30 million.

One of the driving forces behind the business was distinguished producer, James Flynn who died at the age of 57 on February 11th 2023.

As part of a group re-organsation, Octagon Films acquired Metropolitan Films International Limited and its subsidiaries on February 5th 2023.

Metropolitan Films International Ltd has appealed to the Labour Court a large number of Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) decisions issued in December which awarded a cumulative total of €434,216 to a group of  Irish Film Workers Association (IFWA) members.

However, the new accounts make no reference to the disputed WRC awards.

The accounts - signed off on March 26th by directors, Morgan O’Sullivan and Juanita Wilson - show that the cash funds last year increased from €21.32 million to €23.11 million.

The Revenue Commissioners confirmed in January that the value of overall payments made under the Section 481 film corporation tax credit scheme in 2023 was €129.5 million.

The 2023 total was a slight increase on the €127.2 million in corporation tax credits paid out in 2022 under the scheme.