Speaking from Dublin Castle where he is attending the National Economic Dialogue, the President of ICMSA, John Comer, has repeated his organisation’s call for the introduction of a Farm Management Deposit Scheme (FMDS) in Budget 2016 as a means of smoothing-out excessive farm income volatility and also putting farm financing on a viable, efficient, long-term footing.
Mr Comer said the ICMSA proposal is based on the tried and trusted Australian model where approximately 3,000 farmers is avail of the system which allows farmers to deposit money in the Scheme in relatively ‘good’ years for the purposes of setting aside funds for possible income tax liabilities and allowing the participating farmers to claim a tax deduction for that year. In the event of he or she withdrawing monies from the Farm Management Deposit Scheme, then the appropriate amount of the deduction is included in the tax assessable income in the income year the deposit is repaid to the farmer and so the deduction is recouped by the state.
Mr Comer said the scheme had been a measurable success in Australia and that a recent review by the Government there recommended not alone a continuation of the scheme but the reduction and eventual elimination of the off-farm income that could be deposited under the scheme.
“We badly need an effective tool to address the kind of income volatility that every expert unfortunately predicts will be a feature of farm income going forward and in ICMSA’s opinion, the Australian Farm Management Deposit Scheme is a proven and tested response that allows farmers to, effectively, deposit money when they have it and withdraw the money in leaner years all under the auspices of the Government and in a tax-efficient manner that facilitates both farmers and authorities”, he said.
Ends 16 July 2015.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
Director of Press.