Dáil Éireann - Volume 557 - 20 November, 2002

Written Answers. - Tax Exemptions.

  110. Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Finance if he will increase the amount of earnings with tax relief on income from long-term land leasing to farmers over 55 years of age and to incapacitated farmers below this age to €7,620 per annum if they lease their land under long-term leases for a period of between five and seven years. [22740/02]

  Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): The current position is that, under section 664 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, there is an exemption from income tax in respect of the first €5078.95 of annual leasing income, where the leasing is for a period of not less than five years, and in respect of €7618.43, where the leasing is for a period of not less than seven years. The exemptions are available to lessors of agricultural land aged 55 years or over or to those who are permanently incapable by mental or physical infirmity of carrying on farming. These tax exemptions apply only in respect of leases to qualifying lessees. In this context, “qualifying lessee” specifically excludes from the scope of the relief any leases made between closely connected relatives. As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with the usual procedure in the period prior to the budget, it would not be appropriate for me to comment one way or the other in regard to the suggested taxation changes referred to by the Deputy.