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Agriculture Scheme Eligibility

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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney)

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Snippet Contents:

Taxation policy is primarily a matter for the Minister for Finance. However I have on-going contact with Minister Noonan to ensure that tax policy reflects the Government’s commitment to agriculture. Currently young farmers can avail of an enhanced income tax relief measure for 100% stock relief and a stamp duty relief on land transfers if they meet certain criteria, which include minimum agricultural qualifications levels. The recent Agri-taxation Review recommended that selected other tax measures should also be linked to qualifications. I am working closely with the Minister for Finance to ensure that this is reflected in the measures being introduced in the Finance Bill currently before the Oireachtas.
The eligible qualifications are published as part of the relevant legislation that provides for these measures and only include qualifications awarded within the State. However, while Northern Ireland agricultural qualifications are not specifically included in the relevant tax legislation, this does not preclude farmers with those qualifications from qualifying for these tax reliefs. Provided that Teagasc certify that a qualification is equivalent to those published, those farmers can avail of the tax measure.
The new investment schemes under the Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 will provide for higher grant rates for certain qualified young farmers. The new direct payment scheme (the Basic Payment Scheme in 2015) will include a 25% top-up grant for qualified young farmers. Again, provided that Teagasc certify that a qualification is deemed equivalent to those eligible for the higher rates, those farmers can avail of these higher payments.