Maximum flexibility given on income limits for National Reserve – Minister

Maximum possible flexibility regarding has been granted off-farm income limit for the National Reserve, according to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

The Minister has said that the process of deciding objective criteria for the National Reserve is carried out in consultation with the Direct Payments Advisory Committee which includes members of the main farming bodies and advisory services.

He said after consultation with this Committee in recent months and in the context of the limited funding available to the National Reserve, it was decided that an off-farm income limit of €40,000 would be applied to all applicants.

The corresponding off-farm income limit under the previous National Reserve was €30,000, he said.

Applicants under the 2015 National Reserve also have the flexibility of choosing either the 2013 or 2014 tax year, whichever is more advantageous.

The Minister said applicants must comply with all eligibility criteria including off farm income criteria in order to be deemed eligible to qualify for an allocation of entitlements under the National Reserve.

“By increasing the off-farm income limit and granting a choice of reference years, I have granted the granted the maximum possible flexibility regarding income limits,” he said.

National Reserve – Off-Farm Income


A gross off-farm income limit of €40,000 will apply to applicants to the National Reserve. Applicants may chose to use either the 2013 or 2014 tax year, whichever is more advantageous to the applicant, for this purpose.

In order to demonstrate eligibility under the income limit threshold applicants will be required to submit supporting documentation as provided by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners in the following format:

  • P60 – PAYE worker who has held only one job throughout the relevant tax year;
  • P21 – PAYE worker who has held more than one job throughout the relevant tax year;
  • Notice of Assessment – self employed applicants.

For those applicants who are farming as part of a group or as a Company, off-farm income is
determined as follows:

  • Joint herdnumber – the gross off-farm income of all members of the group are taken into
    consideration;
  • Company – the gross off-farm income of the Company (where the Company was established
    in the relevant tax year) and the gross off-farm income of the Directors are taken into
    consideration;
  • Registered Partnership – Off-farm income is considered as follows:

Partnership of two or more herd numbers with the Young Farmer(s) holding their own herd number – only the off-farm income of the Young Farmer(s) is taken into account.

Partnership using a Joint Herd Number only – the off-farm income of all members of the joint herd number are taken into account.