Increase in earned tax credit implemented in 2019

A new rate for the Earned Income Tax Credit comes into force from this year, following its announcement in October’s budget.

The credit will be increased by €200, from €1,150 to €1,350 and applies to the self-employed, including farmers.

When the measure was announced in Budget 2019, a number of farming organisations hit out at the scale of the increase, saying it left farmers on an unequal footing with other taxpayers.

One of those groups was the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), who said:

When Minister [Michael] Noonan began the process of rectifying this blatant unfairness for self-employed workers, it was indicated that it would be done over three budgets – with an increase of €550 each time. We are now looking at this process being dragged out over seven years.

Responding to the budget at the time, Patrick Kent, president of the ICSA, said that the €200 increase was indicative of “a serious inequality with PAYE workers who qualify for a credit of €1,650”.

Other agriculture-related measures in Government spending in the new year include a €57 million allocation to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, as well as €60 million for “Brexit-related supports”.

€60 million in current and capital Brexit-related supports will be provided to improve resilience in the farming sector, along with supports in productivity improvements in the food sector.

The budget, announced by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on October 9, also included a three-year-extension on the Young Trained Farmer Stamp Duty Relief Scheme, and also changing the criteria for income averaging to include farmers with off-farm income.