Thursday, 2 May 2013

Questions (61)

Michael Healy-Rae


61. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance if he will consider reducing the amount of capital gains tax that has to be paid on co-operatives' shares when they are sold in view of the fodder crisis and the fact that farmers may have to sell off shares to themselves over their present financial crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20995/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The current rate of capital gains tax was set in Budget 2013 as part of an overall budgetary strategy to generate necessary additional tax revenue. An increase in the taxation of capital is preferable from the point of view of its impact on the economy to an increase in employment taxes such as income tax. Farmers who sell shares whether to ease financial difficulties or otherwise, are no different to any other taxpayers who may be required to similarly sell shares or other assets. It is not, therefore appropriate or justifiable to single out farmers for favoured treatment over and above other taxpayers. It is important to bear in mind that it is only an actual chargeable gain that is subject to capital gains tax, not the entire consideration to be derived from a sale of shares. In addition a farmer can sell shares and make a gain of €1270 each year without incurring any capital gains tax (€1270 is the annual capital gains tax personal exemption). In the circumstances it is not considered appropriate to reduce the rate of capital gains tax on the sale of shares by any taxpayer, including farmers.