Speaking following a meeting with the Agri -Taxation Review Working Group, the Bailieboro farmer who chairs the ICMSA Taxation Committee, Lorcan Mc Cabe, outlined the key issues discussed and stated that a targeted tax policy is essential to facilitate further growth and development of the agri-sector as it continues to play a crucial role in the ongoing recovery of our economy.
Mr. Mc Cabe said that where agri-taxation measures are working well they must be retained and this Review must ensure the existing level of tax measures supporting this sector must not be tampered with. “Irish agriculture is facing into a period of both enormous change and challenges, and farmers have to deal with the investment challenges associated with quota abolition coupled with the targets set out in Food Harvest 2020 and the Taxation Chairman believes the taxation system must be designed to allow farm families address these issues”, he said.
Specifically, the ICMSA delegation discussed the issue of land mobility and the need to restructure the taxation system to ensure active farmers have access to land and can do so in a tax efficient manner. In addition, the age profile of Irish farmers and the problems of farm fragmentation were identified as key issues which need to be addressed.
“A significant issue for farm families is the need for self-funding of farm development, particularly in the context of ongoing and future income volatility, ICMSA outlined proposals to the Working Group regarding the introduction of a farm deposit scheme which could be used as a management tool to help farmers deal with these challenges. In addition, flexibility with regard to Capital Allowances will be crucial as significant on-farm investment will be required if Irish farmers are to achieve the targets set out in Food Harvest 2020 coupled with expansion post-quota”, said Mr McCabe
Mr. Mc Cabe concluded by stating that ICMSA outlined clear proposals to the Agri-Taxation Review Working Group which will encourage ongoing investment on family farms coupled with provisions to ensure the transfer of a typical family farm can take place without incurring any tax liability while also encouraging timely transfer to ensure the continued viability of family farms.