IFA Farm Business Chair Rose Mary McDonagh said IFA is totally opposed to any reduction in agricultural relief.
Leaked proposals from the Commission on Taxation & Welfare report, which is to be officially published on Wednesday, suggest the Commission has recommended lowering the rate of agricultural relief from 90% to 80%.
“This would be very punitive on farm families trying to organise orderly succession plans for the future. It would place a huge tax burden on the next generation at a time when they will be seeking to invest in their farm enterprise,” she said.
Rose Mary McDonagh said the 90% agricultural relief has been a very important measure to encourage farm transfers and allow families to hand on the farm to the next generation. It has played a significant role in encouraging inter-generational land mobility which would likely be significantly impacted if any changes are made to this relief.
“Land as an asset has a value far beyond what it generates in terms of income. Any reduction in the relief rate for inheritance would have a disproportionate impact on the farming sector. We will be meeting Oireachtas members on Wednesday and raising our very serious concerns about this proposal,” she said.
The Farm Business Chair said the drip-feeding of proposals through media leaks creates a cloud of uncertainty for farm families. “Much like the green diesel proposal, farmers are in the dark about what might happen,” she said.