The Minister of State with responsibility for research and development, farm safety and new market development, Martin Heydon, has announced the launch of the Acceleration of Wear and Tear Allowances for Farm Safety Equipment Scheme.
This follows the signing of the commencement order to allow for accelerated capital allowances on qualifying farm safety and adaptation equipment.
The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, has signed the commencement order to introduce accelerated capital allowances for qualifying farm safety equipment, with a particular emphasis on supporting those who have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of incidents on farms.
Fatal farm and workplace accidents
According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), a large proportion of all fatal workplace incidents (42%) occur in the agriculture, fishing and forestry sector.
Between 2016 and 2020 there were 100 fatal incidents on farms.
Minister Heydon said that he has worked with Minister Donohoe to introduce accelerated capital allowances for certain farm safety and adaptive equipment for farmers with disabilities.
Allowances for farm safety equipment
Currently, capital allowances are available at 12.5% per annum (p.a.) over eight years for agricultural equipment generally.
The new scheme will allow for accelerated capital allowances of 50% p.a, over two years for certain eligible equipment.
This eligible equipment includes chemical storage cabinets and anti-backing gates, as well as adaptive equipment to assist farmers with disabilities.
The scheme will be administered by the DAFM and Revenue. An annual total equipment cost of €5 million p.a., excluding VAT, for the measure will apply.
Minister Heydon said: “Having listened to those survivors and families impacted by farm incidents, I am absolutely determined that farmers who have suffered a life-changing injury are not left behind.
“As the first minister to be given special responsibility for farm safety, I am delighted to be able to announce, that this scheme is now operational and any qualifying adaptions or equipment purchased since January 1, of this year, are eligible under the scheme.
“Farmers may now apply for certificates for the Accelerated Capital Allowance to my department.”
How to apply
The dedicated email address – [email protected] – for applications has been set up and is operational, according to DAFM.
Minister Heydon added that the scheme supports farmers and helps those who have suffered serious physical injury to get back to work.
“This is more than just about enabling people to getting back to farming, but also about improving their physical and mental well-being,” the minister said.
Speaking today (Wednesday, October 6), Minister Donohoe said: “Farmers are now able to apply to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for a certificate to verify that the investment they have made is eligible for the accelerated capital allowance, and then apply to include the tax relief as part of their annual accounts.
“With the scheme now in place, the measure will be kept under review for the rest of 2021 and beyond,” he added.
The DAFM has said that it is continuing to work closely with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), but that the fatality rate in agriculture is far higher than any other economic sector.
A large proportion of all fatal workplace incidents (42% over the last five years) occurs in the agriculture, fishing and forestry sector.
Of 54 deaths in 2020, 20 were in the sector, which is disproportionate to the share of the workforce (7.1% in 2019) employed in the sector, according to the department.
Between 2016 and 2020 there were 100 fatal incidents on farms. Of these 46 involved a farm vehicle, seven involved machinery and 20 involved livestock. These three areas accounted for 73% of all fatal incidents on farms.
The DAFM said that the age profile of those killed is also a serious concern, with the old and the young, exceptionally vulnerable to death and injury on Irish farms.
Under the taxation system operated by Revenue, capital allowances may be claimed on capital expenditure incurred on certain types of business assets and business premises.
Such capital allowances may be claimed at a rate of 12.5% over eight years for plant and machinery.
The scheme agreed is for accelerated capital allowances of 50% per year for two years, which may be claimed in respect of the capital expenditure incurred on eligible equipment.