Farming groups have expressed concern over a "gap" between the Stamp Duty Exemption for young farmers and the Succession Farm Partnership Scheme which they say could have significant financial implications for farming families.
Last month the Tipperary Star reported that young farmers entering into a Succession Farm Partnership Scheme could be caught by stamp duty taxes despite a 2015 Department of Ag policy aimed to incentivise the handing over of farms from parents to children.
But due to conflicting age limits under the Succession Farm Partnership Scheme and a Stamp Duty exemption some farmers would miss out on tax incentives under the scheme.
Commenting on what he termed “the gap” that existed between the eligibility for the Young Trained Farmer Stamp Duty Exemption and the Succession Farm Partnership Scheme, ICMSA Deputy President, Pat McCormack, said that this is a technicality which could have a significant unexpected financial implication for that group of farm families availing of the Succession Partnership Scheme. He stated that it is essential that any of the taxation benefits with regard to Family Farm Succession, which had been “hard won” through the lobbying efforts of organisations like ICMSA, were not inadvertently obliterated as a result of any new measures being introduced. He alo stated” it was important that the benefits of the Succession Partnership Scheme were not diluted and that was why the Department of Finance need to revisit the matter because there is scope for better integration between the ‘old’ Stamp Duty exemptions enjoyed by young farmers inheriting the family farm and the more active and staged process involved in the Succession Partnership Scheme.”
Meanwhile a spokesperson for Macra na Feirme stated that the group are currently investigating what impact the age limit is having on stamp Duty. The group had previously called for the extension of stamp duty relief on the purchase of land to the age of 40 and called for the approval of the Succession Farm Partnership Scheme at EU level.
A spokesperson for the IFA said that they had highlighted the issue in advance of the introduction of the Farm Partnership Scheme and had proposed that stamp duty consanguinity relief (1 percent stamp duty) be extended to farm transfers that are undertaken within the structure of a Farm Partnership.
However the Department of Agriculture have said that any moves to bring existing tax measures into line with the new age definition of young farmers will need “legislative change nationally and EU state aid approval.”