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13 Oct, 2021

Taking a family-wide view for a Kilkenny tillage farm

James O’Reilly is the third generation to manage his farm in Ballyragget, County Kilkenny. His grandfather took on the farm business in the forties, while also working as a co-op creamery manger. His father came on board in the sixties, first operating as a dairy farm before converting to dry stock, and eventually tillage. James has been working on the farm since childhood but has been officially involved for the past seven years.

Providing for parents and seven children was a very tall order

I’m lucky enough to have a brother and six sisters, and all of these needed to be provided for – along with my parents – from the farm. This raises a huge number of issues – some of them financial, some of them tax-based, and some of them to do with the family’s ability to hold on to the farm as a going concern, capable of satisfying our collective needs.

Thankfully, we have ifac on our side when it comes to these really complex and challenging issues. We started working with ifac back in 2010 when we faced a specific income tax issue, and when the issue of passing on the farm from my father to myself came to the fore.

Their expertise in these areas really blew me away, and I believe that we would be struggling badly without their intervention. Their advisory services in tax planning and inheritance tax alone have repaid our investment in their services many, many times over.

They are particularly good at strategizing – for both the short-term and longer-term. This really came into its own when it came to finding a way to provide for my own family, my six siblings and my parents. And all without putting a crippling load on the farm business.

ifac’s Head Tax Consultant worked minor miracles for us

They’ve always spoken to us in our own language

They talked us through our options in clear and simple language, making sure that we understood the implications of what we were doing. And in keeping with the complexity of our needs, we had access to ifac’s Head Tax Consultant, who played a major role in coming up with a solution that kept everybody happy, and minimised the strain on the farm’s working capital.

They’ve also made us much more aware of having an eye to the future, a farm may have a large capital value, but one large unexpected tax bill can put it under enormous pressure. With the help of ifac, we’re confident that this simply won’t arise.

Another big plus of ifac is that they’re happy to suggest the best lending partners, and help us deal with them with real confidence.

Making sure that our forecasts and projection are robust and accurate

A saviour for our finances

We find ifac excellent when it comes to developing really accurate and robust projections and forecasts, letting us face the future with as much foresight as is humanly possible. Forewarned is forearmed, and we get great peace of mind from knowing what’s coming down the road at us in terms of things like income tax and capital gains tax.

It’s the exact opposite to where we might be if we went on a solo run. In that case, we’d likely be putting a finger in the wind to estimate future tax liabilities, but the cost of getting it wrong could be catastrophic.

Without doubt, ifac have been key to our success as a farming business, but more importantly, they’ve been a saviour for our broad family finances, making sure that siblings and parents alike are well taken care of, both today and into the future.

Donal Shinnick
Success Story

"ifac keep us focused on the ever-changing nature of our farm business"

Donal Shinnick, Dairy Farmer
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