The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has called on Government to slash the stamp duty paid on the transfer of land, reduce the rate of income tax and introduce a farm income volatility mechanism to mitigate against low milk prices in Budget 2023.

The ICMSA is seeking a reduction in the rate of stamp duty levied on agricultural land sales to 3%.

Stamp duty’s increase to 7.5% acted as a “major deterrent to land purchase to secure farm viability” it said in its submission to Government.

Income volatility mechanism

The group pitched a new income tax flexibility mechanism to policymakers, whereby a farmer could deposit funds of up to €30,000 into a deposit account untaxed in a year of high farmgate prices and accessed in years of poorer prices.

Farmers could dip into this deposit, it said, in years of low farm incomes and income tax would only be paid in the year when the funds are transferred from the deposit.

It was suggested that off-farm income may be factored into calculations on the maximum, but that spouse income would not be factored into such calculations.

Income tax

The ICMSA’s submission proposed a shake-up of income taxes, with a new tax band of 30% to be levied against earnings between €37,501 and €55,000.

The tax proposals also sought a rise in the 20% income tax threshold for single or widowed earners to €37,500.

Personal pension contributions should be deducted from income before the income on which the Universal Social Charge (USC) is paid, it argued.

VAT and land transfer

The farmer organisation proposed lowering VAT from 23% to 20%, which it said would incentivise investment into farms.

Also put forward to push farmers to reinvest in their businesses was a reduction in the tax-free threshold of the capital acquisitions tax to €450,000, which is up from its current €330,000, while reducing the rate of the tax to 25%.


The dairy group also sought for investment funding delivered through the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) to be extended to farm contractors and the payment ceiling to be lifted to 60% for all low emissions slurry spreading (LESS) equipment.

Introducing tax credits for farmers to switch to protected urea would also incentivise ammonia reduction cuts, it said in its submission.

On the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES), the ICMSA is looking for an additional 10,000 places in the scheme for dairy farmers to help the sector meet its climate commitments.