IFA welcomes progress on farm taxation

IFA President Eddie Downey has welcomed the further progress made on farm taxation measures in the Budget, in particular the introduction by the Government of measures on farm succession to encourage a new generation of farmers to get involved with their parents in the business at an early stage.

  He said a tax credit of €5000 per year for five years was significant and would help farm families deal with the real challenges of inter-generational transfer.

  The IFA President released a statement which said the income tax credit of €550 for farmers and the self-employed, while long overdue, was very welcome and must be built on in future budgets. He said that the Association has long campaigned to have this unfairness in income taxation for farmers and self-employed addressed.

  He went on to state that the changes to the taxation for farm forestry were also welcome and a necessary measure to assist in the efficient harvesting and re-planting of farm forestry.

  The IFA also believes the increase in the threshold for Capital Acquisitions Tax to €280,000 starts to reflect the increase in the value of assets, but much more needs to be done in future Budgets. He said the rollover of all existing farm tax reliefs for three years, including stock relief, is important for investment on farms.

  Eddie Downey said the increase in funding for agriculture for next year to €1.3bn will ensure that farmers entering new schemes under the RDP will finally get much-needed payments after years of cuts. However, he said farmers will be insisting that the Minister accepts in more of the projected 50,000 applicants into GLAS this year so that full payments can be made in 2016. In addition, the Minister needs to address farmer concerns following recent changes to the GLAS scheme.

  Mr Downey said the general changes to the income tax and USC and the increase in social payments, especially for older people and young families, will all help after some difficult years of spending cuts. However, employers in some sectors will have difficulty in finding the extra resources to meet the new minimum wage increase for next year and he warned that retailers and other purchasers of food will have to reflect this in the return to their suppliers.