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Minister Creed: Kerry shares issue has implications for other co-ops
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Minister Creed: Kerry shares issue has implications for other co-ops

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Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said he will not intervene personally but clarity is needed on Revenue's stance on Kerry shares.
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said he will not intervene personally but clarity is needed on Revenue's stance on Kerry shares.

Minister Creed has said clarity is needed on the Revenue Commissioners’ view of Kerry co-op shares because it has implications for all other co-ops who operate similar share schemes.

Speaking at the ICMSA AGM in Limerick on Monday, Minister Creed said that while the Revenue was independent of Government since the 1920s, the issue “needed clarity”.

“The issue appears to be there is a value attached by Revenue to the loyalty share.”

Revenue Oireachtas appearance

The Minister also confirmed that Revenue is appearing next week before the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee while the Finance Committee had asked for further information from Revenue.

In addition, Kerry co-op is understood to be considering an injunction against any pursuit of its shareholders by Revenue until this issue has been tested in law, should Revenue not accede to its request to take a test case to the courts to further examine the issue.

On Friday last, the board of Kerry Co-op wrote asking the Office of the Revenue Commissioners to examine a test case in the shares issue.

“It is appropriate that the issue is thrashed out between Revenue and Kerry because it needs clarity,” Creed said

“It has a knock-on effect for not only Kerry suppliers who may yet receive letters but also for other co-ops who operate in the same way.”

The Minister was responding to a question from the floor from a farmer who asked: “Does the Minister agree that this is an attack by the Government on the entire co-op movement, a move that goes against the fundamentals of the family farm and one that will make co-ops vulnerable to takeover by vulture funds?”

Another farmer said: “How right do you think that this is? A letter sent to tax-compliant people. This country was freed for all of us, and not just a select few. Stop Revenue from bullying us out of this country.”

Responding, Minister Creed said: “The tax laws are there, it’s up to Revenue to interpret them. The tax laws have not changed.”

However, he maintained that he would not directly intervene in the process.

Pat O'Toole contributed to the reporting of this story

Read more

Kerry milk suppliers hit with €12m bill

Ballybunion reacts to Revenue letters

How Revenue came to apply income tax to Kerry shares

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