Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Department of Finance
Young Farmers Scheme
I am advised by Revenue that there is currently one stamp duty relief available that applies a 1% rate of stamp duty on the transfer of agricultural land between certain blood relatives in certain circumstances. This measure is known as Consanguinity Relief.
Transfers of farmland between certain blood relatives qualify for a reduced rate of stamp duty of 1% provided certain conditions are met. In addition to being a relative of the transferor, the individual to whom the land is transferred or conveyed must either farm the land or lease it to someone who farms the land for a period of not less than 6 years. The person farming the land must do so on a commercial basis and with a view to the realisation of profits. In addition the person farming the land must devote at least 50% of his or her normal working time to farming orbe the holder of one of the agricultural qualifications set out in Schedule 2, 2A or 2B to the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act (SDCA) 1999. Since the enactment of Finance Act 2017 on 25 December 2017, there is no age limit for Consanguinity Relief. For transfers executed prior to that date, it was a requirement that the person disposing of the lands be under 67 years of age.
I have also introduced a measure in Finance Act 2017 to allow a farmer to claim relief from stamp duty where he or she sells land and purchases land, in order to consolidate his or her holding. The relief applies to land in the State which is agricultural land with no residential buildings on it and includes commercial woodlands. Where there is a purchase and sale of land within 24 months of each other that satisfy the conditions of consolidation, then stamp duty will only be paid to the extent that the value of the land that is purchased exceeds the value of the land that is sold. In such a situation stamp duty will only apply at the rate of 1% on the excess. This measure is subject to European Union State Aid rules and will not be commenced until approval is received from the EU. There is no age limit for Farm Consolidation Relief.
Young Trained Farmer Relief may also be relevant to your query. This is available to farmers who, subject to certain conditions, qualify for full relief from stamp duty on the transfer of agricultural land. To qualify for the relief the transferee must, on the date of execution of the instrument of transfer, be less than 35 years of age and be the holder of one of the agricultural qualifications set out in Schedule 2, 2A or 2B to the SDCA 1999.
In addition to the age and educational qualifications required the transfer must be by way of sale or gift and must be irrevocable. The young trained farmer, or each of them if there is more than one must retain ownership of the land for a period of 5 years from the date of execution of the instrument and during that time must devote not less than 50 per cent of his or her normal working time to farming the land.