The Association of Farm Contractors in Ireland (FCI), the national association representing Agricultural/Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland, in its 2020 Pre-Budget Submission has given the Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure, Mr. Paschal Donohoe, TD, a 10-point set of proposals that are intrinsically linked with the issues of taxation, the implications of a no-deal Brexit on the agricultural economy and the continuing Black Economy within the sector.
“We are urging the Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure to use the opportunities presented by Budget 2020 to make changes to Agri-Taxation Policy to allow rural-based Agricultural/Farm & Forestry Contractors to play their fuller role in supporting Ireland in achieving the Food Wise 2025 objectives and managing a post-Brexit Agricultural Economy,” said Richard White, National Chairman, of the Association of Farm Contractors in Ireland. “We are seeking agri-taxation reliefs that incentivise Agricultural/Farm & Forestry Contractors to play an even bigger and more important part in delivering on the national objectives of smart, green, and sustainable growth across all sectors of Irish agriculture."
Continuing he stated: “We are aware that despite the important part that Agricultural/Farm & Forestry Contractors play in the food production process, accounting for a national annual turnover in the agri sector of more than €700 million, we are not treated equally to farmers even though we are fully engaged, as our sole businesses, in supporting all aspects of modern Irish farming activities,”
The FCI Pre-Budget proposals submitted to the Minister for Finance & Public Reform include: changes to VAT rating for all Agricultural/Farm & Forestry Contracting charges; the establishment of a National Register of Farm Contractors; accelerated investment allowances for Agricultural/Farm & Forestry Contractors; Changes to Form 11 Tax Return and Self-Assessment Form to include a section where farmers will be required to provide a detailed breakdown of their annual agricultural diesel usage costs under a new and separate heading; the need for a seasonal income tax incentive scheme for seasonal agricultural workers; contractors support for new environmental machine technology through farm subsidy; carbon tax rebate against tax for Agricultural/Farm Contractors; support for grass-based bio-digesters in Ireland; the creation of a three-year apprenticeship programme for farm contractor employees; and the introduction of a meal allowance for employees of Agricultural/Farm & Forestry Contractors.