‘Investors should not get agricultural relief on farmland’

Launching the IFA pre-Budget Submission - Farming for a Sustainsble Future – in Dublin today IFA President Joe Healy said a progressive Budget 2020. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke
Launching the IFA pre-Budget Submission - Farming for a Sustainsble Future – in Dublin today IFA President Joe Healy said a progressive Budget 2020. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The IFA is calling for a change in the Budget to stop investors availing of agricultural relief on farmland.

IFA Farm Business Chairman Martin Stapleton said there is a need to protect active farmers and maintain the integrity of the relief.

“There is a concern that there is a potential abuse of the relief in terms of transference of wealth by non-farmers,” he said at the launch of the IFA pre-Budget submission.

IFA is proposing that to avail of the Agricultural Relief, the transferor or transferee, or a combination of both, have to farm or have farmed the land for a minimum of 10 years, similar to the qualifying business asset definition in the existing Capital Gains Tax relief.

It’s also proposing that the retention period of the individual receiving the gift/inheritance should be increased from six to 15 years.

IFA President Joe Healy, at the launch, said the organisation is also calling for the removal of what it calls “discrimination in the tax system for self-employed including the Earned Income Tax Credit and USC surcharge”.

At the moment, a surcharge of 3pc is applied to any self-employed income over €100,000, resulting in a total of 11pc USC being applied on any proceeds over €100,000.

In its pre-Budget submission, IFA has also called for a comprehensive package of market support measures including direct support for farmers to include structural and adjustment funding in light of Brexit.

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It’s also looking for a €38m increase in funding for suckler cow farmers in addition to the existing BDGP and BEEP schemes bringing total funding to €100m and increased ANC funding of €50m.

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