Minister for Finance blames EU rules for €70k cap on agri-tax benefits
Young trained farmers face a cap in the level of farming supports they can avail of at reduced tax rates.
The Minister for Finance, Pascal Donohoe has blamed EU state aid rules for a cap introduced after the Budget on certain tax reliefs.
The Finance Bill introduced a cumulative €70,000 lifetime cap on the benefit any one farmer can receive under three farming related tax reliefs (the young trained farmer stamp duty relief, stock relief for young trained farmers and succession farm partnerships).
Minister Donohoe said he is aware of the concerns raised by the farming bodies over the issue. However, he said the origin of the €70,000 cap lies in EU law.
He said EU regulations introduced in 2014 provide for state aid rules concerning start-up aid for young farmers and the development of farms.
The regulations provide that “the aid amount per young farmer shall be based on the socioeconomic situation of the Member State concerned and shall be limited to €70,000”.
This means that the maximum aid amount allowed under the three schemes is €70,000 per each farmer who qualifies for the relief.
Minister Donohoe said EU state aid regulations are legal acts that have a direct effect in all EU countries and can be enforced directly by the European Commission regardless of domestic Irish law.