The tax system should be examined to remove any unintended tax barriers to female farm ownership, a report from the National Dialogue on Women in Agriculture has recommended.

Both the capital gains tax (CGT) retirement relief and capital acquisitions tax (CAT) relief currently favour sole farmer land ownership and, in effect, penalise joint farm ownership.

This, according to the report, leads to the exclusion of women as farm co-owners as a result of the additional costs and hassle involved with transferring land to a spouse.

The report also highlighted how this inequality does not exist for young farmer reliefs, making the transfer of land to a child rather than into joint names of a spouse/civil partner more inviting.

Pass the conditions

“There is a look-through approach in young trained farmer stamp duty relief where only one of the couple needs to pass the conditions to avail of the relief.

“The same should be introduced for CAT and CGT agri reliefs,” the report said.

The National Dialogue on Women in Agriculture event took place on 1 February last year and gave rise to several other recommendations outlined in the report which has been published this week.

These recommendations have been made in order to inform national strategy and support greater gender equality. A range of education, leadership and sustainability recommendations were also outlined for consideration, as well as financial and legal ones.


Incentivising farmers to consider female successors and imposing penalties on representative organisations and bodies for not having sufficient gender balance were two other recommendations outlined in the report.

Meanwhile, in terms of education and awareness, the report outlined that significant investment is required to promote a career in farming for females. It called for more to be done to promote the visibility of female role models, putting forward good news stories so women can see themselves as having, and being able to have, an integral role in agriculture.