The Kerry Co-op board met today to discuss the implications of this week’s additional tax demands received by 400 of its members.

Afterwards, a letter was hand delivered to the Revenue Commissioner’s in Tralee, listing the concerns of the Kerry Co-op board on this matter.

“This is part of a process,” said a Kerry source.

“The board will await the official response of the Revenue on all of the issues that have been raised, after which decisions will be taken on how best to deal with the matter further.”

Earlier this week the Revenue wrote to 400 Kerry suppliers notifying them of a tax demand on patronage shares in Kerry co-op that had been issued to them during the years 2011, 2012 and 2013.

It is believed that the inferred tax liabilities range from €15,000 to €30,000 per share holder.

Commenting on the action taken by the Kerry Co-op board, ICMSA president John Comer said it is important that both sides engage constructively in a process aimed at resolving the

It is important that both sides engage constructively in a process aimed at resolving the current impasse.

“Kerry farmer-suppliers suffered a major and unexpected shock on Monday last that could threaten the very viability of many family farms and it is essential that this matter is resolved in a manner that is fair and takes account of the prolonged period  of depressed milk prices from which we are only beginning to see recovery,” he said.

Kerry suppliers have already told Agriland that income tax should only be paid on the patronage shares, once they have been redeemed.

The Revenue is currently holding to the position that receipt of the shares constitutes a source of tradable income.

According to Revenue sources, the letters arise as compliance interventions in the context of the organisation’s risk framework and the advice for anyone who has received a letter, or anyone who has received such shares, is to engage with Revenue staff and address the issues raised.