Following a meeting with Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue last evening, IFA Farm Business Chair Rose Mary McDonagh has called on relevant parties to immediately extend the January 1st deadline for submissions on the Residential Zoned Land Tax and to ensure impacted land owners are directly engaged with.
“With the Christmas break, there isn’t much time between now and January 1st to challenge your inclusion in the RZLT or change the zoned status of your lands. There is still a huge lack of awareness out there among landowners about this tax and the significant financial implications it may have. An extension of the deadline and direct engagement is essential,” she said.
“I had a farmer call me last week wondering about the tax. He only became aware of it when he was in his solicitor’s office looking to transfer part of the farm to his daughter. He didn’t even know the land was zoned. There are many more farmers in the same position,” she said.
“It’s incredible to think that Local Authorities aren’t required to make direct engagement with impacted land owners. It’s all well and good to say it has been publicised in the local paper and maps are in the Local Authority office, but if farmers don’t think it applies to them, they won’t do anything about it.”
“We had a webinar last week on this and two key messages emerged. Firstly, this is a very penal tax that will force the sale of intergenerationally held and farmed lands (often without an immediate buyer) if farmed land isn’t exempt. Secondly, there appears to be huge inconsistencies across the various Local Authorities in terms of what is in or out of scope. These are the agents that farmers are now relying upon to ‘independently’ review and decide on their submissions. It’s imperative, in the interests of fairness, that there is complete clarity and no ambiguity on this. The financial implications are just too severe for farmers,” she said.
IFA has put together a summary here to help farmers make a submission. IFA will continue to campaign to get farmed land that is an integral part of the farm business exempt from this penal tax.
In the meantime, Rose Mary McDonagh encouraged all farmers to check out their Local Authority maps to see if they are in scope for the RZLT or not, and to prepare a submission before year end if needed.