Stamp duty exemptions for farmers to be included in new Finance Bill

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Stamp duty rate to triple on Tipperary farm land

Stamp duty exemptions are being included in the new Finance Bill

Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway, Eugene Murphy, has welcomed the fact that Stamp Duty exemptions for farmers will be included in the Finance Bill which is due for publication tomorrow,  Thursday, October 18.

“There is good news for farmers as changes have been made to planned hikes to commercial stamp duty in order to limit the number of farmers hit by the new 6pc rate. Understandably there was wide-spread outrage and criticism when it was announced in the Budget that stamp duty on sales of non-residential land would rise from 2pc to 6pc. Following widespread criticism the Finance Bill, which is due for publication on Thursday, will include the extension of an existing tax relief to cover most transactions taking place within families. Fianna Fáil were pushing for these amendments to be made and I welcome the fact that the Cabinet has today agreed to put exemptions in place for farmers,” said Deputy Murphy.

“Under current rules ‘consanguinity relief’ is available for inter-family sales if the seller is under the age of 67. However, the Minister for Agriculture will now remove this age limit. Farmers under the age of 35 who buy agricultural land are already exempt from the higher rate. This means it will be possible for all gifts and sales of farmlands to closely related family members, who do not qualify for the 100pc exemption available under the Young Trained Farmer scheme, to benefit from consanguinity relief at a stamp duty rate of 1pc. 

“This is most welcome news and as a rural based TD for Roscommon/Galway I am keenly aware that this would have been a considerable and unsustainable cost for farmers to bear- many farming families are already struggling to survive on meagre incomes and the proposed increases in stamp duty would have made it near impossible for next generation farmers to take over the family farm with that level of stamp duty hanging over their heads- thankfully the age limit factor has now been removed. 

“Among the conditions which must be met are that the individual to whom the land is conveyed or transferred must either farm the land or lease it for a period of not less than six years to an individual, who farms the land. There is also a requirement that the person taking on the land must have an agricultural qualification.

“I welcome the fact that the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has agreed to extend consanguinity relief for another three years and fix the stamp duty rate applying under that scheme at 1pc. I understand however that the question of an age limit will be revisited when the measure itself comes up for review towards the end of 2020,” concluded Deputy Murphy.