It takes specialist knowledge and understanding to appreciate the problems farmers face today. Every decision is affected by legal, tax and practical considerations specific to farming business.

The objective of this Focus is to highlight general principles that apply to legal issues that affect all family farms such as succession and farm transfer and also to highlight recent changes to the law which can have a significant impact on family farm businesses.

There are distinct legal issues which seem to affect many family farms and are the subject of regular queries to the Legal Queries page.

There are two certainties in life – death and taxes.

Consequently, farm transfer and succession is an issue that affects every family farm.

A report recently published by the Law Reform Commission recommends changes to the law under which a child can challenge a parent’s will. The law as it stands and the recommended changes are highlighted in a feature in this week’s Focus.

The recent motion by the Rural Independent Group calling on the Government to reform how the Fair Deal Scheme is applied to farming families and the self-employed brings the inequality and discrimination in how the Fair Deal Scheme is applied into this Focus.

While they pay their fair share of tax, farmers, like many other businesses, always like to avail of opportunities to save taxes where they arise.

This Focus delves into two particular tax measures recently introduced, namely the €25,000 tax credit available by entering Succession Farm Partnerships and the rebate of up to €20,000 of income tax available for the construction or purchase of a new home.

Both reliefs could typically be availed of in family farming scenarios.

I hope you enjoy this Focus.

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