Film Relief (section 481 investment in film)
Film Withholding Tax (FWT)
A qualifying company may employ non-resident actors from outside the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA). If it does, it must withhold tax from their payment. This is known as Film Withholding Tax. FWT has been in operation since 10 January 2015 and the rate of tax is 20%.
The company can make this payment to a company, agent, manager or other third party on behalf of the actor.
A company may also hire a non-resident actor in a dual capacity. For example, an actor can work as a director also. If this is the case, the company must only withhold tax from the payment that relates to acting.
If the actor is resident in the USA, a company must charge FWT on payments (including expenses) over US$20,000. This is because there is a Double Taxation Treaty between Ireland and the USA.
A company will require the following information from the non-resident person they are paying in order to operate FWT correctly:
- their address
- their country of residence
- their Tax Reference Number in the country of residence.
The company must complete a Form FWT 45 (certificate of deduction) when operating FWT. This form is not available to download, but can be requested by emailing Revenue’s Film Withholding Tax Unit. Your email should include the following information:
- the name of the qualifying company
- the company’s Tax Reference Number
- a contact name and their contact details
- address for forms to be sent to
- the number of forms required.
Once the Form FWT 45 is completed, the company must:
- give part 1 to the person they are paying
- keep part 2 for their records.
A company must submit a tax return for each month they make a payment and withhold tax. The return must include:
- details of the person they are paying
- details of the payment
- the security number on the Form FWT 45.
The company can email a request for a tax return form from Revenue’s Film Withholding Tax Unit. Their request must include:
- the name of the company
- the tax reference of the company
- a contact name and their contact details.
The tax return must be filed through the Revenue Online Service (ROS) by the 23 of the month after the payment is made. The FWT should be paid to Revenue at this time.
Any late payments may incur an interest charge. A late return may incur a penalty charge. The maximum penalty charged is €5,000. A return is not required if there was no FWT withheld.
How do you pay Revenue FWT?
A company can pay FWT electronically to the following bank account:
Bank of Ireland
The payment reference should include the:
- tax type
- company’s Tax Registration Number
- first three letters of the month of payment
- year of payment.
For example: FWT1234567TJan2015.
The company must also email the payment details to the Collector General and include the:
- company’s name
- company’s tax registration number
- amount of FWT electronically paid
- period in which the payment was made.