New tax incentives to be linked to productivity

New tax supports and incentives for the farming sector will be linked to production and output.

This is according to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, who was speaking to the press in Dublin this afternoon before meeting with the Irish Farmers Association’s (IFA) Executive Council.

“We want to make sure the incentives in the tax system in place are the ones contributing to productivity,” he said.

The Finance Minister also stressed the review will not reduce the amount of Exchequer support in the tax system to the agri-food sector.

“We don’t intend to take anything away or reducing the cost of the tax incentives in any way, but we are measuring them to see, do they do what they say on the tin, do they do their purpose,” he added.

A public consultation on a review of tax supports to the primary agricultural sector opened earlier this month and any recommendations will be considered in the context of Budget 2015.

Encouraging and attracting young farmers and new entrants into farming and land mobility, transfers via the market, whether by sale of long-term leasing, are among key focus areas of the review.

Also key to the review is a look at succession, earlier lifetime transfers within families and non-family transfers where no apparent successor is available.

In addition officials from both departments will examine tax measures related to alternative farming models, collaborative faming such as farm partnerships, share farming, contract rearing or cow leasing. Farm business structures, sole trader or incorporation will also be examined.

A survey of accountants and tax professionals dealing with the farming sector will also take place.

As well as the public consultation process, it is envisaged that the review will include an independent cost-benefit analysis and an international benchmarking exercise against countries such as the UK, France and the Netherlands.

The consultation process runs until Tuesday 25 March.