The Green Party is seeking to change the rules around tax relief on farmland used for solar farms, according to TD Brian Leddin.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Leddin said that they were aiming to change the existing threshold in this year’s budget, but were not successful.
In January 2018, the Government introduced a relief on farmland which contains solar farms. The land will be eligible for tax relief as long as the area of the land on which the solar panels are installed does not exceed half of the total area of the farm.
There are two reliefs which can be affected by this; retirement relief for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and agricultural relief for Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT).
If a farmer is over 55 years of age, they might be able to claim retirement relief on CGT when transferring any part of the business or farming assets.
When transferring land through gift or inheritance, agricultural relief reduces the CAT taxable value of the land being transferred by 90%.
Therefore, in order remain eligible for these reliefs, it is vital that the amount of land (i.e map area) used by the solar farm is under half of the total land area being transferred.
“What this does is eliminates huge swathes of potential land across the country for solar farm development. The Green Party feels very strongly that these rules should be changed,” according to Leddin.
He says that his party will keep pushing for the change and that he expects good news soon.