Updated: 11/10/17 : 06:47:55
Good news for agri sector however more could have been done
The Minister for Agriculture has helped to kick-start the solar development project by introducing a relieving measure for land used in the direction of solar panels however farmers and fishermen miss out on Brexit Loan Scheme.
Up to now, land used in solar development would not have been regarded as agriculture. However, as and from 1st January 2018 agricultural land placed under solar infrastructure will continue to be classified as agricultural land with a condition that the amount of farmland that can be used for solar infrastructure can be no more than 50% of the total acreage of the farm. By doing this is ensures that this land is eligible for Agricultural Relief and Capital Gains Tax Retirement Relief thus alleviating most, if not all of the tax.
The Minister for Finance introduced a massive increase in the rate of Stamp Duty from 2% to 6 however he has confirmed it does not apply to farmers or farm land. There was further good news in the Budget for farmers in relation to inter-family transfers. Blood Relative Relief has been extended which facilitates succession and the earlier inter-generational transfer of family farms. It is capped at 1%. Details of same are awaited in the Finance Bill.
Young Trained Farmers Stamp Duty Relief is retained. In addition the seven year retention period for Capital Gains Tax holding of assets to ensure an exemption from Capital Gains Tax has been reduced from seven to four years.
Commenting on the budget Declan McEvoy, Head of Tax at IFAC Accountants states, “Overall a reasonable Budget for the agri sector however it is disappointing that the Brexit Loan Scheme will not be available to farmers and fishermen.”