Review of farming tax reliefs under way

Budget 2014: Ireland’s farming and agriculture tax reliefs are under review and changes are afoot, according to Finance Minister Michael Noonan in his outline of Budget 2014 this afternoon.

Speaking specifically on agricultural he acknowledged that it is Ireland’s largest indigenous sector, employing 150,000 people, producing an annual output of  €24bn, exports of €9bn to 160 countries.

“It is entirely appropriate this sector has been the recipient of significant tax relief and incentives over the years and these have grown over time. There is now a significant information gap about their cost and effectiveness, therefore I am announcing in conjunction with my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, an independent cost-benefit analysis to be undertaken in this area,” he said.

The Finance Minister outlined the objective of the review,”identify what works and what doesn’t”, with the aim of  redirect the existing level of tax expenditure towards achieving a maximum benefit in this sector of the economy.

“This review follows recent reviews of the property and film and research and development tax expenditures. Any recommendations will be considered in the context  of Budget 2015,” he cautioned.

In addition, the minister said that the farmers flat rate addition is be increased to 5 per cent from 4.8 per cent from 1 January 2014. “This scheme compensates farmers for Vat incurred on their farming inputs,” he noted.

Capital gains tax relief retirement disposals of long-term leased farms was also extended in certain circumstances, it was announced.

“The purpose of change in this area is to encourage older farmers to lease out their farmland on long-term leases to younger farmers in circumstances where the older farmer has no children or willing to take up farming,” the minister outlined.

The eligibility for young trained farmers relief is also been extended, the minister added. “There will be three more qualifying courses for the list of relevant qualifications required for 100 percent rate of stock relief and for the stamp duty relief for the purchase of agricultural properties, both schemes which I am maintaining,” he announced.

The outline of Budget 2014 is still ongoing.

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