Independent TD for Laois-Offaly, Carol Nolan, has asked the Minister for Finance to make the young, trained farmer stamp duty relief permanent.
Deputy Nolan said that the move would provide reassurance regarding future costs for farm families planning the transfer of their enterprises.
She raised the parliamentary question on the back of issues the ICMSA flagged in its pre-Budget 2022 submission.
Young Trained Farmer Relief
In response, the Minister for Finance highlighted that stamp duty relief for young trained farmers provides for a total exemption from stamp duty on either the transfer by gift, or purchase, of farmland (and associated buildings) where the recipient is a trained farmer under the age of 35 and meets other specified criteria.
The normal rate of stamp duty that arises on the acquisition of non-residential property, which includes farmland, is currently 7.5%.
The relief legislated for in Section 81AA on the Stamp Duties Consolidation Acts 1999 (SDCA 1999), titled “transfers to young trained farmers”.
“As with all such reliefs, it is, of course, subject to a number of terms and conditions. Section 81AA was introduced in Finance Act 2000, has since been extended on a number of occasions, and is currently due to expire on December 31st, 2021.”
He said the primary domestic and EU policy objective of this relief is to encourage the intergenerational transfers of agricultural land.
A secondary purpose is to increase the level and rate of adoption of new more productive and more environmentally friendly farming practices.
Extending the relief in Budget 2022
The normal extension of tax reliefs is three years. If the government extends the relief in the budget (and associated Finance Bill), it will expire on December 31st, 2024.
There have been some calls from the farming sector for longer extensions, of this and other farming-focussed reliefs.
“My position remains that extending such reliefs in three-year increments provides an appropriate balance between delivering a degree of medium-term certainty in respect of the availability of a relief for those planning to avail of it, as well as for those operating it, and the need for the relief to be reviewed regularly by my department (with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose, reflects current government policy, continues to be consistent with EU state aid policy, and other considerations.”
“I expect that my decision on the extension of this relief will form part of my speech introducing Budget 2022,” he concluded.