Government Senator: ‘Stamp duty changes ‘haven’t gone far enough’



An opposition TD has welcomed stamp duty exemptions for farmers – but a Government Senator says the changes haven’t gone far enough!

  Last week the Government responded to the outcry over its Budget measure by agreeing to put an exemption in place to remove the age limit for the seller with regard to family farm transfers for the next three years.

  Senator Maura Hopkins of Fine Gael explained that this will mean that it will be possible for all gifts and sales of farmlands to closely-related family members, who do not qualify for the 100 pc exemption available under the Young Trained Farmer scheme, to benefit from consanguinity relief at a stamp duty rate of 1 pc.

  However, the Fine Gael politician said her Government’s stamp duty changes don’t go far enough.

  “The margins in farming are so fine that anything which increases the price of land is very negative. We should not be penalising active genuine farmers who are trying to build a farm business. These people are the future.”

  Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy welcomed the stamp duty exemptions for farmers.

  He says: “Understandably, there was widespread outrage and criticism when it was announced in the Budget that stamp duty on sales of non-residential land would rise from 2 pc to 6 pc.

  “Following widespread criticism the Finance Bill will include the extension of an existing tax relief to cover most transactions taking place within families.”

  Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said: “The news that all family farm transactions are to be protected from the recent new rules on stamp duty as the age limit of 67 is to be removed is to be welcomed.

  “However, it will solve only about 20% of the problem that exists with regard to the sale of agricultural land and further extensive amendments will need to be made if the issue is to be sorted out properly to protect small family farms.”