- Pay and file date: This is being moved back from September 30 to October 31 to alleviate potential difficulties for taxpayers where an inheritance takes place close to the pay and file date.
- Self-assessment and modernisation: Stamp duty is to be put on a self-assessment footing, in common with other taxes.
Transactions will be required to be stamped within 30 days of a transaction and audit and appeal procedures will be introduced. The changes will apply from a date still to be set.
- Young, trained farmer relief: An additional course (FETAC level 6 Special Purpose Certificate in Farm Administration) is being added to the list of qualifying courses for the relief.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
- Exemption for certain State bodies: The sections providing for exemption for transfers to or by State bodies are being amended to provide that disposals by Teagasc are exempt from CGT and disposals not at full market value to local government corporate services bodies do not attract CGT charge.
- Exemption for compensation payments to turf cutters: Compensation given to turf cutters for giving up the right to cut turf in Special Areas of Conservation or Natural Heritage Areas under the scheme administered by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will be exempted from CGT.
An additional qualifying course (FETAC level 6 Special Purpose Certificate in Farm Administration) was made available for stock relief for young, trained farmers.
- Relief from third level fees: In line with the increase in the student contribution charge announced in the Budget, the scheme of tax relief on third-level tuition fees is being amended to provide that the first €2,250 in fees per claim will be ineligible for tax relief where any of the fees are paid in respect of students in full-time education.
Prior to the change, the first €2,000 was disregarded per claim. Where students are in part-time education, the first €1,125, as opposed to the first €1,000 in fees, will be ineligible.
Provisions Already Announced in Budget
The amendments relating to carbon tax and registered farm partnerships were announced in the Budget statement. The re-provision for a double deduction in computing the profits of a trade of farming for the increase in the rate of carbon tax on farm diesel is due to come into effect on May 1.
For registered farm partnerships, the current rate of 25pc stock relief will increase to 50pc -- and for certain young, trained farmers entering such partnerships, a rate of 100pc stock relief will be available for a period of four years starting in the years he/she becomes a 'qualifying farmer'.
This stock relief is subject to clearance with the European Commission and the start date for this scheme is still to be announced.
A new incentive relief from CGT is being introduced for land and buildings bought between December 7 last year and December 13, 2013. Where such property is held for more than seven years, the gains attributed to that seven-year period will be relieved from CGT.
The Finance Bill will go through a number of stages of the legislative process before it is enacted on April 6.
As in previous years, the unfavourable changes tend to get included in the final stages of the Finance Bill so we will be keeping a close watch on the committee stage and the report stage amendments.
Disclaimer: Solicitor, tax consultant and Nuffield scholar Aisling Meehan does not accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Tel: 061 368 412