Stamp duty on farm consolidation enactment welcomed

The enactment of stamp duty reduction on farm consolidation sales has been welcomed by the chairperson of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association’s (ICMSA’s) Farm Business Committee, Lorcan McCabe.

Speaking before its enactment through the Finance Bill on the stamp duty reduction on farm consolidation on Friday (December 15), McCabe noted that the proposal has been on the table “for many years”.

McCabe – from Bailieboro, Co. Cavan – said that, given the punitive increase in stamp duty announced in the recent budget, it was imperative this reduction was enacted.

He added: “Section 67 of the bill allows a farmer to claim relief from stamp duty where he or she either sells or purchases land for consolidating an existing farm holding, subject to qualifying conditions.

Where these qualifying conditions are satisfied, stamp duty will be paid only to the extent that the value of the land being purchased exceeds the value of the land that is sold.

“The reduced rate of 1% will be charged on the excess, if any, of the purchase value”.

Qualifying conditions must be satisfied before the relief can apply – the most important of which is that Teagasc must issue a certificate stating that a sale and purchase or an exchange of farmland was made for farm consolidation purposes.

However, McCabe said it’s clear that – overall – the measure will be a significant advantage to any farmer consolidating their holding.

“The increase in the stamp duty rate to 6% needs to be reviewed in the next budget and we would think that, in the interests of fairness, people who had purchased land before budget day and had paid a deposit should qualify for the 2% rate in the interest,” the chairman concluded.