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Teagasc Seminars on Transferring the Family Farm   

Teagasc are hosting a series of seminars around the country titled “Transferring the Family Farm”. These events, which commence this evening, Monday, 1 October in Mallow, County Cork, are open to all farm families to attend.

James McDonnell, financial specialist, Teagasc said: “Inheritance and succession, like death and taxes, are things that are unavoidable. At these seminars you will gain an insight into not only the legal, social welfare, and tax implications, but also the best way to go about having the conversation in the family setting.”

Planning the transfer of the family farm to the next generation can be a difficult task for any parent. There are good tax incentives to promote early farm transfer, but this is a personal decision for every land owner. To complete this task, while looking after all of your dependants fairly and your own future income in the most tax efficient way while fulfilling the requirements of the law, is not easy. Many people put off the event for as long as possible, but if the process started promptly and with careful planning some of the pitfalls may be avoided.

The seminars will be addressed by a number of experts including:
• Tax adviser
• Solicitor
• Succession mediator
• Social welfare adviser

Family involvement in planning for succession is essential. A key aim must be to have an open conversation with the people involved so that misunderstandings can be avoided. Some issues to be addressed are:
• Ensuring the retired farmer and spouse has sufficient income
• The recipient of the farm can generate sufficient income
• Parents often have other siblings to cater for 

There are also a number of Tax issues to be considered. On life time transfer of farm assets, Capital Acquisitions Tax (CGT), Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Stamp Duty are the taxes for which a return must be filed. Reliefs may be claimed from each of these taxes. With the drop in property values over the past few years the threshold of each relief has also dropped so care must be taken in planning the transfer to reduce any tax bills.

At the seminars, a practicing solicitor will present a paper on the legal aspects to be considered in transferring the family farm. These include how to make your Will, forming a trust where minors are involved and enduring powers of attorney.

Transferring the family farm with good professional advice will help make the task less daunting. It is important to make preparations early so that potential problems can be assessed and avoided before they arise. This will give peace of mind to the giver and give the successor the best possible chance of keeping the farm business together for future generations. The majority of farm families do not plan adequately for succession, so all land owners and potential successors are encouraged to be informed of the issues by attending one of these events.

Seminars will also take place as follows:

  • Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry, Co. Galway - October 8th at 7.30pm

  • Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim - October 15th at 7.30pm

  • Park Hotel, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath - October 22nd at 7.30pm

  • Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny - November 5th at 7.30pm.