Dáil Éireann - Volume 376 - 09 December, 1987
Written Answers. - Farmer Taxation.
Mr. Spring Mr. Spring
76. Mr. Spring asked the Minister for Finance if he will outline the plans, if any, he has to enable farmers to avoid the financial burdens associated with farm accounts imposed by the present system of farmer taxation.
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacSharry) Ray MacSharry
Minister for Finance (Mr. MacSharry): The Government are convinced that all farmers should be taxed on the same basis as other taxpayers, through the income tax system. This means that farmers are required to supply the Revenue Commissioners with adequate returns, sometimes in the form of accounts, to enable the tax to be operated fairly and efficiently. Within the limitations imposed by this requirement, every reasonable effort is made to reduce the demands of tax compliance on farmers.
The Revenue Commissioners accept a simplified form of tax accounts from small enterprise farmers. Furthermore, the simple farm profile form which is currently being used to bring smaller farmers, hitherto effectively exempt, into the income tax system, is so designed as to allow inspectors of taxes to assess the liability, if any, of such farmers to income tax, without recourse to formal accounts in some cases.
The Deputy should also note that no farmer is obliged to retain an accountant  to prepare tax returns. The only requirement is that the returns be of a standard acceptable to the Revenue Commissioners consistent with the fair and efficient administration of income tax. In any case, commercial farmers would require accounts for management purposes and, in that context, the requirement to prepare tax accounts is not unreasonable.
Dáil Éireann 376 Written Answers. Farmer Taxation.