Farmers set to qualify for relief on CPOs

A clarification on the treatment of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) that widens the criteria to include the holding of land is “good news for farmers”.

That is according to the Head of Tax at IFAC Accountants, Declan McEvoy (pictured), who explained the clarification by Revenue now allows a capital gains tax rate of 10% entrepreneurial relief on CPOs, conditional on a number of requirements.

The announcement came after news that up to 130 Kerry landowners could potentially be subject to CPOs to facilitate the South Kerry Greenway – a bicycle route planned for the Ring of Kerry.

The Kerry-based project also raised concerns among landowners in Connemara, that Galway City Council could resort to similar measures to force a cycle route through their farms.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) previously criticised Galway City Council’s proposal to build a cycle route “through environmentally-sensitive areas while ignoring other more environmentally-friendly and acceptable alternatives”.

ICSA representative for Galway Adrian Kelly said that this action “flies in the face of all logic”, adding that the preparation of CPOs by Kerry County Council laid down the template for how Connemara and Galway-based farmers were likely to be treated under similar plans.

Commenting on the latest development on the treatment of CPOs, McEvoy said: “This is welcome news for farmers who can now qualify for relief on CPOs, provided they meet the ownership/usage conditions.

“Originally this exclusion was designed to prevent relief applying where development land was held by an individual, company or partnership where there is no business activity.”