The Revenue’s interpretation of the qualifying age for definition as a Young Farmer differs from that of the European Union and Department of Agriculture, Independent TD Marian Harkin has said.

The call was put to Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Sean Fleming TD, in a Dáil debate on budget measures affecting the agriculture sector.

Harkin said: “Revenue’s insistence that a young farmer is not over 35 is inhibiting land mobility and generational renewal, failing to support necessary change in the structure of land ownership.

“This change is vital to ensuring a vibrant agriculture sector for the future. According to recent figures, only 5% of farm holders in Ireland were aged 35 or less.”


Harkin claims the payment of stamp duty by a young person over 35 on land in accordance with Revenue, conflicts with Government and EU policy which defines a young farmer as up to the age of 40.

Revenue guidelines state: “When the deed transferring the land is executed, the transferee must hold a relevant agricultural qualification.

“A person who obtains a relevant qualification within the period of four years after the date on which the deed transferring the land is executed will be able to claim a refund of the stamp duty paid provided all the other conditions are met.”

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