Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has welcomed two "key measures" in the Finance Bill in relation to stamp duty on agricultural land transactions: the extension for three years of Consanguinity Relief for inter-family farm transactions; and the removal of the upper age limit of 67 for the transferor.
Minister Creed said: “I am pleased at this announcement by Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, that the 1 per cent rate for transactions relating to the family farm has been retained and that the age limit for the transferor has been lifted. Coupled with the existing Stamp Duty Relief for Young Trained Farmers, which is a complete relief from stamp duty, it means that lifetime transfers of land within families, whether by gift or sale, are strongly protected.
“I also welcome the announcement by Minister Donohoe that officials from both our Departments will meet to assess progress on the 'Agri-Tax Review', which was published in Budget 2015, and especially to consider the issue of income stabilisation.”
Assisting succession and the inter-generational transfer of family farms has been a central part of the Government’s agri-taxation policy, and recent Budgets have included a number of measures to maintain and strengthen that support, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. In June of this year, Minister Creed launched the ‘Succession Farm Partnership Scheme’, which provides for a €25,000 tax credit over five years to assist with the transfers of farms within a partnership structure, promoting and supporting the earlier inter-generational transfer of family farms.
“In cooperation with my colleague, the Minister for Finance, I look forward to maintaining the support to agriculture and to farming families through the taxation system, which has been estimated at some €350m per annum,” Minister Creed said.
Minister Creed said he welcomed the following other measures confirmed with the publication of the Finance Bill:
- A change to support environmental sustainability and promote renewable sources of energy, so that where farmers lease farm land for solar panel use, it will be considered as eligible for Agricultural Relief and Retirement Relief;
- The continuation of measures to promote and support entrepreneurship, as evidenced by the increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit by €200 to €1,150;
- The new 'Keep initiative' to help small employers attract and retain key employees; and
- The extension of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) accelerated capital allowance scheme for energy efficient equipment.