IRELAND - The Irish Farmers' Association has provided an insight into the financial supports and taxation changes that have been secured and coming down the line in early 2017.
Low cost loans
The €150m loan scheme for farmers, offering loans of up to €150,000 at 2.95 per cent interest is due to be in operation from January 2017. IFA lobbied hard for this measure, which was included in Budget 2017 and will offer loans at the lowest rate on offer to any sector.
Farm Partnership tax credit
A Scheme providing for a €25,000 tax credit over five years to assist with the transfers of farms within a partnership structure will begin in early 2017. The scheme, proposed by IFA, will allow those who enter into a partnership with the provision for the transfer of the farm at the end of a specified period to avail of a tax credit of up to a maximum of €5,000 per annum for five years. More details
Farm Assist improvements
Child and income disregards in the assessment for Farm Assist assessment will be reinstated from 15 March 2017. Farm income and other income from off-farm self-employment will then be assessed at 70 per cent, down from 100 per cent, for means-tested access to the scheme. An additional annual disregard of €254 will apply for each of the first two children and €381 for the third and other children.
In line with other social protection payments, the weekly Farm Assist payment will also increase by €5 a week in March.
VAT refund increase
The rate of Flat Rate Addition will increase from 5.2 per cent to 5.4 per cent from 1 January 2017.
Earned Income Tax Credit increase
The Earned Income Tax Credit is being increased €950 for the 2017 tax year.
Universal Social charge reduced
The rates of USC will be being reduced as follows from 1 January 2017:
- The lowest rate of 1 per cent is to be reduced to 0.5 per cent; this applies to the first €12,012 of income.
- The 3 per cent rate is to be reduced to 2.5 per cent; this applies on income from €12,013 to €18,772.
- The 5.5 per cent rate is to fall to 5 per cent; this applies to income between €18,773 up to €70,044.
TheCattleSite News Desk