“Partly as a result of intensive lobbying by our association and others there have been some positive measures in the areas of farm transfers and consolidations introduced in recent budgets. We’d particularly recognise the ‘half rate’ 1% Stamp Duty for transfers to close relatives, the extension of the Young Trained Farmers Stamp Duty Relief to 31 December 2015 and the Capital Gains Tax Restructuring Relief as logical and welcome. Those measures need to be built upon if we are to address the continuing problems around farm fragmentation and the possibilities of expansion that will loom large post-quota from 2015 onwards. For a start, the 1% rate for transfers to close relatives due to expire at the end of 2014 must be extended to facilitate expansion and sensible succession planning. The Young Trained Farmer Relief requirement for 50% of normal working time to be spent farming is difficult to establish and verify and should be changed to a five year retention of ownership and use of land qualification. Budget 2013 provided for an increase in the rate of CGT to 33% representing an increase of 65% since 2008. ICMSA totally opposes any further increase and calls for the reintroduction of indexation which was withdrawn in 2002”, said Mr Comer.
“ICMSA believes that the reductions in the CAT tax-free thresholds in successive budgets have been excessive and have worked as a disincentive on land transfers. We believe that the retention of 90% agricultural relief for CAT is absolutely essential to ensure transfer from one generation to the next. We also firmly hold that farm families should be able to avail of the same tax relief for farm leases as non-related farm persons. The current tax code does not allow the same tax relief for land leases to related persons as non-family members which is causing difficulties for farm families that wish to lease the farm to the next generation prior to retirement age. We also urge the Minister to look at a measure for Budget 2014 that will permit stock relief whereby if the receipts from the forced disposal of stock this year due to the fodder crisis are reinvested in livestock in 2014 or 2015, the farmer concerned can claim stock relief at 100% with proportionate reductions if the farmer does not invest the full amount received from the forced disposal of live stock”, he continued
“ICMSA draws attention to the National Farm Survey Preliminary Estimates 2012 that indicate that family farm incomes fell by 15% in that year. The cuts to farm schemes contained in successive budgets have contributed to this fall and the fodder and consequent financial crisis experienced in 2013 should alert the Minister to the requirement to fund fully the farm schemes on which so many families depend”, concluded the ICMSA President.
Ends 6 September 2013
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office