In order to promote lifetime transfers of land and encourage more young people to pursue farming, the Finance Act, 1994, provided for a two thirds relief from stamp duty on the transfer of land to a young trained farmer. This relief was introduced for a three year period and was extended for a further three years until 31 December 1999 in the 1997 Finance Act. Under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, the two thirds relief was increased to a full relief in the Finance Act, 2000, for three years until 31 December 2002.
For the purposes of the relief a "young trained farmer" is one who: (i) is under 35 years of age at the date of execution of the transfer; (ii) is the holder of one of the specified qualifications, for example, the Teagasc certificate in farming; or (iii) if born before 1 January 1968, has three years' experience in farming together with satisfactory completion of Teagasc training courses in agriculture and horticulture of 180 hours duration.
Where the transferee has completed at least one academic year of the Teagasc certificate in farming at the date of execution of the transfer, he or she may obtain the relief by way of a refund provided that the qualification is obtained within three years of the date of execution of the transfer. This is a very generous relief as it currently stands and cannot be availed of by any other sector. I have no plans to make any amendments to the current legislation as proposed by the Deputy.