Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Site sales escape new 'windfall tax'

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The exemption of one-off site sales from the new 'windfall tax' was confirmed last week in the Finance Bill.

It had been feared that the 80pc tax, which was introduced as part of the NAMA legislation, would penalise land owners selling one-off sites and those who had land taken under Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) for road or other development projects.

Following intense lobbying by farm organisations, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan indicated that the sale of sites would not be subject to the new tax.

This was confirmed in the Finance Act, with the amended legislation stating that the tax would not apply to the sale of one-off sites below an acre in size and €250,000 in value.

Declan McEvoy, of Irish Farm Accounts Co-operative (IFAC), said the exclusion of site sales from the legislation was a "positive development" and one that would be welcomed by farmers.

Mr McEvoy said it was still unclear whether the exemption applied to the sale of a single site by a land owner or to multiple sales.

Had site sales been subject to the tax, land owners could have faced bills of up to €76,000 where a 0.5ac site was priced at €100,000 and the agricultural value of the ground was set at €10,000/ac.

Farm organisations welcomed the decision but expressed disappointment that the rate of carbon tax on farm diesel remained unchanged.

In other details from the Finance Bill, stamp duty relief is being extended so that those completing a degree in Agri Environmental Science will now qualify for the relief.

The insurance levy is being removed from pension products so that people are not discouraged from investing in pensions. It is also removed from re-insurance in order to prevent premium income twice being subjected to the levy.

The bill provides for amendments to Capital Acquisitions Tax. The tax payment and filing deadlines are to be aligned with income tax deadlines.

The return must be filed on or before October 31 in the case of a gift/inheritance arising in the period from January 1 to August 31. For gifts arising between September 1 and December 31 the return must be filed on or before October 31 of the following year.

Irish Independent