Macra calls for Stamp Duty exemptions to be extended in Budget

This 100pc exemption is due to expire in 2020.
This 100pc exemption is due to expire in 2020.

With the 2019 Budget only around the corner, Macra na Feirme is calling for an extension of Stamp Duty exemption on the transfer of land to young trained farmers to 2023. This 100pc exemption is due to expire in 2020.

The organisation is also looking for the age restriction for the stamp duty exemption to be increased to 40 years for the transfer of land.

“In a lot of cases it’s not possible for farmers to buy land before 35 years of age as they have their money invested in capital on their farms,” Agricultural Affairs Chair of Macra John Keane said.

Macra na Feirme is also asking for funding for a call centre to support farmers struggling with mental health.

Macra na Feirme wants a more relatable service provided for farmers. It is proposing funding of €1.2m, €10 a farmer for the 120,000 active farmers in Ireland, be set aside for this support service.

“Currently there is nothing to specifically help farmers struggling with mental health,” he said.

“Not taking away from the great work that is being done already by Pieta House and similar charities, but we need a service for farmers that provides them with someone on the other end of the phone that can relate to the situation.”

Macra na Feirme is also asking for the farm house to be included as an agricultural asset, so that it does not have to be transferred to the next generation at the same time as the associated land.

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“What we are seeing on the ground is people hold onto the farm house, so they own the house they live in, and rightly so,” John said.

“But this means that there is a huge tax bill associated with inheriting it, as it’s no longer regarded as an agricultural asset.”

The young farmers organisation is also calling for an exclusion on VAT for farmers buying sexed semen.

“The price of sexed semen is a huge deterrent for farmers currently. If we could reduce the price, more farmers may use it and it could reduce the problem of unwanted bulls.”

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