11 Aug, 2023

New Grant to Incentivise Succession Planning on Farms

This week’s announcement of a new grant to encourage farmers aged 60 years and above to seek succession planning advice will potentially help many farm families avoid future financial hardship, says Marty Murphy, Head of Tax with ifac.

Welcoming the Succession Planning Advice Grant, Marty urged older farmers to take up the incentive and seek professional advice on how to best safeguard their own financial security while also looking after the next generation and securing a viable future for their farm.

Succession planning is important in every business, so it’s worrying that it is neglected on so many Irish farms. Research conducted for ifac’s 2023 annual Farm Report found that 64% of farmers surveyed don’t have a successor in place, and 90% have little or no understanding of the Fair Deal nursing home scheme. 

“While inheritance and succession can be a thorny subject, it’s crucial that farmers plan ahead, taking into account both their own aspirations and those of the next generation. The Succession Planning Advice Grant is a welcome initiative and an important support for older farmers. Family circumstances differ, and every case is unique, which is why it’s so important to obtain professional advice. Getting the timing of a transfer of farm ownership wrong or failing to take advantage of relevant tax-saving opportunities can lead to significant hardship,” said Marty.

Making a Will

When planning for succession, it is also important that farmers make a Will. Once in place, Succession Plans and Wills then need to be reviewed at least once a year and updated when necessary.

How to apply for the Succession Planning Advice Grant

 The Succession Planning Advice Grant opens for applications on 19 September 2023 and will cover up to 50% of vouched legal, accounting and advisory succession planning advice costs, subject to a maximum payment of €1,500. To apply, farmers must be aged 60 years and above, farming at least 3 hectares of land, and farming for a minimum of 2 years prior to making their application. The grant does not apply to farmers currently in a succession farm partnership. 

An online information webinar for the new scheme is scheduled for the 6 September 2023 at 7pm. For registration details, see the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine social media platforms.

A free guide to Farm Succession is available for download below. For further information on succession and/or to discuss your individual situation, please get in touch with your local ifac office.