Dáil Éireann - Volume 470 - 15 October, 1996

Written Answers. - Stamp Duty Exemption.

140. Mr. E. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Finance whether a person (details supplied) in County Cork will qualify in 1997 for the existing stamp duty exemption on the transfer of the family farm holding. [18271/96]

Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): The 1994 Finance Act provided for this very generous stamp duty relief, which costs the Exchequer approximately £4 million annually, in respect of transfers of agricultural land and buildings to young trained farmers. The relief involves a two thirds reduction in the stamp duty that would otherwise be payable and applies in respect of transfers occuring between 7 January 1994 and 31 December 1996. There are a number of conditions attaching to the relief in order to target the relief at young trained farmers.

The Deputy may not be aware that where the transferee has completed at least one year of the prescribed course on the date of transfer, stamp duty must be paid in full at the time of transfer. However, the amount of stamp duty equal to the relief will be refunded where, within three years of the date of transfer, the transferee furnishes evidence to the Revenue Commissioners within six months of the completion of the course, that he/she has completed the Teagasc certificate in farming — the green certificate — or equivalent and that the other conditions attaching to the relief were satisfied at the date of transfer.

This stamp duty relief has greatly improved the climate for land transfer and complements the EU farmers retirement scheme in facilitating lifetime transfer to young farmers. However, a principal rationale for the relief is that it is a temporary measure designed to encourage early transfers of lands. At this stage it is not intended, therefore, to extend the relief beyond the end of this year.