Stamp duty relief for young trained farmers provides for a total exemption from stamp duty (currently 7.5%) on either the transfer by gift, or purchase, of farmland (and associated buildings) where the recipient is a trained farmer under the age of 35 and meets other specified criteria. It is legislated for in Section 81AA on the Stamp Duties Consolidation Acts 1999 (SDCA 1999), titled “Transfers to young trained farmers”,
As with all such reliefs, it is subject to a number of terms and conditions. Section 81AA was introduced in Finance Act 2000, has since been extended on a number of occasions, and is currently due to expire on 31 December 2021.
The primary domestic and EU policy objective of this relief is to encourage the inter-generational transfers of agricultural land, with a secondary purpose being to increase the level and rate of adoption of new more productive and more environmentally friendly farming practices.
My plans for the future of this relief were announced yesterday as part of Budget 2022, and as the Deputy will be by now be aware, I was only able to extend it for one year to end-2022.
This limited extension is due to the need to ensure that this relief, which is a form of state aid, remains compatible with the EU's Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation (ABER). The ABER permits Member States to provide state aid to the agriculture sector if it meets certain criteria, such as facilitating and encouraging the intergenerational transfer of farms. Once the current CAP negotiations are complete, the ABER is expected to be reviewed. The current ABER, which itself has been extended, currently expires at the end of 2022, so I was limited by this to the one year extension.
Once a new ABER, or an equivalent, is in place, and assuming the young trained farmer stamp duty relief remains compliant with it, I can assure you that I will consider extending the relief by three years, which is the normal duration of extensions for reliefs such as this one.