Kerry milk suppliers are this week trying to get to grips with a completely new tax bill that could have far-reaching consequences also for other co-op shareholders nationally. For the first time, Revenue has requested the value of patronage shares be classed as trading income in the year of receipt and taxed accordingly.

Numerous Kerry milk suppliers have reported receiving the letters in the past few days, with tax bills ranging from €5,000 to €50,000 to be paid in the coming weeks. Over the period 2011 to 2013, about 600,000 patronage shares were issued to Kerry milk suppliers.