Written answers

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Department of Finance

Tax Reliefs Availability

Photo of Áine CollinsÁine Collins (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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225. To ask the Minister for Finance if there is a special tax relief for land that was previously owned by the Land Commission and is now being sold to developing farmers under the restructuring scheme. [25750/15]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
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I understand that this question relates to transactions to which capital gains tax (CGT) relief for farm restructuring under section 604B Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 may be sought. The details relating to this relief are set out hereunder. As regards a special tax relief for land previously owned by the Land Commission, I can say that no specific relief in relation to such land has ever been provided for under CGT legislation.  I would require much more detailed information on the nature of the tax relief being referred to before I could comment more generally.  My understanding is that the Land Commission was dissolved in 1999 and that any questions regarding its activities and responsibilities would be a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Simon Coveney TD.

As regards the CGT farm restructuring relief, I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that section 604B Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, as amended by section 49 Finance Act 2014, provides for relief from CGT on disposals of farm land for farm restructuring.

The relief applies to a sale, purchase or exchange of agricultural land in the period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016 where Teagasc has certified that a sale and purchase or an exchange of agricultural land was made for farm restructuring purposes. The initial sale or purchase, or the exchange, must occur in the relevant period and the subsequent sale or purchase must occur within 24 months of that sale or purchase.

Full relief from CGT will be given where the consideration for the purchase of agricultural land is equal to or greater than the consideration for the sale of such land. Where the consideration for the purchase of agricultural land is less than the consideration for the land that is sold, relief will be reduced on a proportionate basis. In the case of an exchange of agricultural land, full relief from CGT will be given where the value of the land that is exchanged is equal to or greater than the value of the other land that is exchanged. Where the value of the land that is exchanged is less than the value of the other land that is exchanged, a corresponding reduction will apply to the relief that will be given.  

Provision is made for the clawback of the relief where qualifying land in respect of which relief has been given is disposed of within 5 years of the date of the purchase or exchange of that land. A clawback does not apply where the disposal arises under a compulsory purchase order.

A prerequisite to any disposal and acquisition of farm land qualifying for this relief is that an application for a farm restructuring certificate is made to Teagasc, that Teagasc grants such a certificate and that such certificate has not been withdrawn. Guidelines relating to the application for, and the issue of, a farm restructuring certificate are available on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's website.

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