Capital Taxes


Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Retirement relief

Farmers may be able to claim relief from capital gains tax (CGT) on the sale or transfer of assets which are usually liable for CGT. Such assets include farmland and EU Payment Entitlements.
To qualify for the relief a farmer must:
(i) Be over 55 at the time of the transfer;
(ii) Must have owned the asset for the previous 10 years;
(iii) And must have used the farm assets within their farm business for 10 years up to the date of transfer.

In relation to transfers or sales to children, a cap of €3 million applies if transfer occurs after the farmer reaches 66 years of age.A farmers can avail of a CGT exemption of up to €750,000 from the disposal of farm assets to a third party, where the farmer is over 55 years of age, has owned the assets for previous 10 years and has used the farm assets within the farm business for 10 years to date of sale.

The cap on the tax exemption is reduced to €500,000 for disposals by persons over 66 years of age. Marginal rates of 50pc CGT apply on proceeds over the relevant limits.

Favourite Niece/Nephew Relief

Usually the transfer or sale of a farm to a niece or nephew is regarded as a disposal to a third party, meaning that a farmer can be liable to capital gains tax where the value of the farm transferred exceeds €750,000 in the case of a farmer under 66, or €500,000 in the case of a farmer over 66.

A niece or nephew who has been working for their uncle or aunt can be deemed for tax purposes to be equivalent to a child where that niece or nephew has worked full-time (at least 15 hours per week or 24 hours per week in the case of multiple employees) for the five years prior to transfer. In both instances the recipient must continue to retain ownership for the six years post transfer in order to avoid a clawback of the CGT relief obtained.

Relief for farm restructuring

This relief first introduced from January 1, 2013 wipes out underlying capital gain on the sale of land, where the proceeds from the sale are reinvested in the purchase of other ‘qualifying’ land, or in cases where land is exchanged by an owner for other land.

The relief applies where a farmer disposes of an outside block of land to enable him/her to buy a block of land closer to the main farming base.

Disposal of a site to a child

This section provides exemption from capital gains tax (CGT) in respect of any gain on disposal, subject to conditions, of a site by a parent or his or her civil partner to a child (including certain foster children) with the site having a market value that does not exceed €500,000 at the date of the disposal and the area of the land being disposed of does not exceed 0.4047 hectares or one acre For full CGT details please click here


Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) Agricultural relief

Successors to agricultural property can claim relief resulting in a 90pc reduction in gift/inheritance tax where that successor has at least 80pc of their assets in agricultural property at the valuation date.Successors must retain ownership for a period of six years post transfer.
The 2014 Finance Act insists that with effect from January 1, 2015, successors must either be:
(i) A trained farmer and farm the land for a six-year period post transfer on a commercial basis with a view to realising profits;
(ii) Or, in the case of a non- trained farmer, farm the land on a full-time basis (an average of 20 hours per week or equivalent) for the six years post transfer, again on a commercial basis with a view to realising profits.Alternatively, the individual may lease their land for a minimum period of six years to either a trained farmer or a full-time farmer who satisfies the above criteria. Special rules cater for farm dwellings and changes of use within the six-year period (i.e. transitions from letting to farming and vice versa).

Business Relief

Where an individual does not qualify for agricultural relief, they may in the alternate claim business relief where relevant criteria are satisfied. Business relief facilitates the transfer of family businesses (including farming businesses) with a 90pc reduction in the taxable value for gift/inheritance tax purposes. The relief applies to gifts and inheritances of relevant business property.
This applies to property owned and used in the trade for a period of five years prior to transfer in the case of a gift or two years in the case of an inheritance.Any relief given may be wholly or partly clawed back if, within six years of the gift or inheritance, the business ceases to qualify. The relief can also apply in respect of shares of a trading company. Business Relief will not apply to farmhouses.
For full details please see Revenue Commissioner's Website