Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 19 October 2017

Farmland will be subject to Stamp Duty hike - Finance

Ciaran Moran and Kevin Doyle

Farmers who buy land will be subject to the new hike in Stamp Duty, which has risen on commercial property transactions from 2pc to 6pc.

Senior finance sources confirmed to the Irish Independent there is no exemption for agriculture land sold on the open market.

“If the land is being sold as a farm then the buyer will have to pay new 6pc rate of stamp duty. If it is being sold as a site for residential development then the tax won’t apply,” said the source.

Earlier in the day, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed had told a post-Budget press briefing that farmers would not be subject to the hike and a motion tabled by Michael Fitzmaurice last night to exclude farmland was defeated in the Dail.

This happened after the Budget speech by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, who never mentioned any exemptions to the Stamp Duty increase for farmland, making it look likely that farmland will continue to be classed as 'commercial' when it comes to Stamp Duty calculations.

Stamp Duty on non-residential property was lowered to 2pc in 2011 to get the commercial property market moving again.

According to tax expert Declan McEvoy, IFAC Accountants, the impact on farmers is that those who purchase land will now liable to the higher rate of Stamp Duty.

On 100 acres land worth €1m, he says the purchaser will now be liable to pay Stamp Duty of 6pc – leaving them facing a Stamp Duty bill of €60,000 - instead of a previous bill of €20,000.

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He also said an immediate unknown is whether transactions that have not yet closed before midnight last night will be subject to the new rules, as this will mean an increased cost of €40,000 – the increase from 2pc to 6pc.

He says the Stamp Duty increase would encourage more inter family land transfers with the young trained farmer relief critical – and young trained farmers will not be subject to the 6pc as long as they are under 35 years of age and meet the criteria set out.

Now, it remains to be seen if any exemption can be put in place to exclude farmland and keep the Stamp Duty rate at 2pc for farmers.


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