Video: Agricultural land won’t escape trebling of stamp duty rates

The Dail has voted in favour of trebling the stamp duty rate, bringing it to 6% overall – with agricultural land set to be affected.

Confusion ensued yesterday evening, when the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said: “We need to nail this one, because I’ve seen some commentary on social media. The increase in stamp duty does not apply to agricultural land.”

However, it has now been confirmed that the new rates will affect agricultural land. But those who have benefited from relief measures in the past will continue to do so going forward.

A stamp duty rate of 1% will apply for inter-family farm transfers for another three years under the consanguinity clause. A total exemption from stamp duty has also remained in place for young qualified farmers.

According to RTE News, the Dail voted in favour of the new 6% stamp duty rate for commercial property transactions – which would include agricultural land.

A total of 64 TDs voted in favour of the measure, with 31 in opposition and a further 41 who decided to abstain. It is understood that the government hopes to raise in excess of €375 million as a result of the increase.

An amendment, which would exclude agricultural land from the increase, proposed by Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice was also defeated in the Dail last night.

Calls were also made by the President of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Joe Healy, to exclude agricultural land from the increased.

He did welcome the decisions to extend the reduced stamp duty rate of 1% for transfers between family members and to maintain the young trained farmer stamp duty exemption.

Consequences for farmers buying land

This 4% increase is a transitional cost for farmers on the purchase of land and will be significant for those that have not planned for it, according to IFAC Accountants.

If a person is buying land for €500,000, this stamp duty rate increase will add an extra €20,000 cost onto the transaction.

Land has always been included in the same bracket as commercial property, but now an amendment will be required in the finance bill to exclude land from the rate increase, IFAC Accountants concluded.