Fianna Fail claims win on stamp duty exemption for farmers

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Fianna Fail has claimed it has secured changes to the 2017 Finance Bill to extend a key Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption for farmers to Stamp Duty.

Budget 2018 increased the Stamp Duty rate from 2% to 6% for farmers purchasing farm land, leading to a huge backlash from the sector.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Horticulture and Food, Jackie Cahill says his party has been lobbying the Minister for Finance to change the Finance Bill to ensure that farmers buying or selling farm land would not be left with heavy and prohibitive stamp duty bills.

”There was initial resistance from the Department of Finance to extending this exemption to Stamp Duty transactions.

“There currently is a Capital Gains Tax Relief for farmers wishing to re-organise and consolidate their farms. When a farmer sells land that is far away from the core farm and replaces it with land closer to home, relief is given on the Capital Gains on the sale of the initial piece of land.

"Fianna Fáil engaged with the Department of Finance to explore whether this relief or something similar could be extended to Stamp Duty.

"This is particularly important now that stamp duty for non-residential property is going up to 6%. The threat of a 6% Stamp Duty rate severely threatened the viability for many farmers to purchase additional land to increase productivity.

According to Cahill, most farmers who are buying additional land are already at the pin of their collar with regard to their business.

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“The Government needs to bear in mind that farming is a low income industry, with average incomes for 2016 of €24,000 and in the case of cattle farms an average income of just €13,000.

“The acceptance by the Government that the CGT exemption for farmers should be extended to Stamp Duty is welcome,” Cahill said.

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