Full stamp duty roll-back ruled out; inter-family transfer age limit likely to be removed

A full roll-back on the much-publicised budgetary changes to stamp duty has been ruled out today, AgriLand understands.

However, it is understood that the upper age limit, of 67 years-of-age, that applies to consanguinity relief is likely to be removed or significantly altered – possibly within a matter of days.

As it currently stands, consanguinity relief is available to close family members provided that the transferor is aged 67 or under. In such cases, a stamp duty rate of 1% applies on transfers by gift or sale.

Outside of consanguinity (inter-family) transfers, and transactions involving ‘Young Trained Farmers’ which are wholly exempt, this week’s budget trebled stamp duty on commercial, non-residential (including agricultural) land from 2% to 6%.

Also Read: Video: Agricultural land won’t escape trebling of stamp duty rates

Today’s mooted development would mean that fewer sales or transfers of farms would be levied with the 6% rate, than had been previously feared. It should mean more transfers will qualify for the consanguinity relief rate of just 1%.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed met directly with the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on the margins of today’s cabinet meeting in Cork to discuss the implications of the budget.

It is understood that changes to the consanguinity relief age limit of 67 were examined to ensure that all eligible family farm transactions are protected from the increase, ahead of the publication of the Finance Bill next week.

The stamp duty reliefs available to farmers purchasing land for agricultural use prior to the budget continue to be in place. Farmers under 35 who qualify as ‘Young Trained Farmers’ are fully exempt from stamp duty on farm transfers by gift or sale.

These reliefs were intended to provide incentives to encourage earlier inter-generational farm transfer. There are also incentives in place to encourage long-term leasing of agricultural land.