The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) will host an information webinar for farmers hit with the new residential zoned land tax on Thursday 8 December at 8pm.
Ahead of the webinar, IFA farm business chair Rose Mary McDonagh said: “A complete overhaul of the proposed tax needs to be carried out, with productive farmed land used as an integral part of the business completely exempt.
“There’s huge amount of uncertainty out there, and farmers want support in preparing a submission against this tax. A local planner and a solicitor will share their knowledge and experience,” she said.
McDonagh described the residential zoned land tax as “penal” tax which will force farmers to sell land that they rely upon to generate an income for themselves and their families.
“It’s illogical to press ahead with this poorly designed, ill-targeted, disproportionate tax on farm families, particularly when the situation differs across the country,” she said.
The IFA farm business chair outlined how her organisation is receiving an increasing number of calls from farmers who are “very concerned” about the new tax.
She said most of those getting in touch are looking for information on how they can challenge any potential liability but highlighted that the IFA is also getting calls from farmers who have residential zoned and serviced land on the market for years, but simply can’t find a buyer for it.
“It’s inequitable on both to impose this penal tax,” she claimed.
Lack of engagement
McDonagh also highlighted that the “lack of action and engagement from key Government departments on this has been very frustrating”.
“Our campaign will continue to get an exemption for productive farmland,” she said.
The new residential zoned land tax is designed to incentivise house construction. Farmland is not exempt from the tax, with Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue previously confirming that some 8,000ha is to be eligible.
The tax, which is payable at 3% of the land’s market value before the 24 May 2024, has hit some farmers badly, with sizable annual tax bills a possibility.
Farmers have until the end of this year to check if their land has been zoned as suitable for residential use and lodge an appeal to their local authority. Maps detailing the areas zoned are available here.