Under section 664 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, there is an exemption from income tax in respect of the first £4,000 of annual leasing income where the leasing is for a period of not less than five years and in respect of £6,000 where the leasing is for a period of not less than seven years. The exemptions are available to lessors of agricultural land aged 55 years or over or to those who are permanently incapacitated by mental or physical infirmity from carrying on farming.
These tax exemptions apply only in respect of leases to qualifying lessees. In this context, "qualifying lessee" specifically excludes from the scope of the relief any leases made between closely connected relatives. A person is connected with an individual if that person is the individual's husband or wife, or is a relative, or the husband or wife of a relative of the individual or of the individual's husband or wife. A relative in this context is defined as meaning brother, sister, ancestor or lineal descendent. The restriction covering leasing to closely connected relatives is a standard anti-avoidance measure without which the relief would be open to manipulation with spurious arrangements being set up, such as the passing back to the lessee of rent on which tax relief had been claimed by both.