Income Tax Relief Will Apply To Lands Used For Solar, Must Be Followed By Basic Payment Eligibility – IFA

IFA Renewables Project Team Chairman James Murphy has welcomed clarification that income tax exemptions will generally apply where farmland is leased out for the purpose of solar energy development.


James Murphy said, “The Department of Agriculture and Revenue has clarified that, in general, if land is leased to a solar company and it is managed as ‘farmland’ as set out in tax legislation, any long-term rental income to the lessor will be exempt from income tax. In addition, following changes secured by IFA in recent budgets, a farmer leasing to a limited companies will also qualify for the income tax exemption, where the farming definition is satisfied.”


He added, “Ireland faces significant challenges in meeting our 2020 EU obligations in order to avoid paying substantial fines for non-compliance. IFA will continue discussions with the various Government departments to build on this progress, and seek changes to ensure that agricultural relief and basic payment will also apply for farmers using their lands for solar energy.”


IFA continues its call for farm families and the wider rural communities to be at the centre of future renewable energy developments. This means that to be eligible for state financial support, all large scale energy development companies must offer at least 25% of each project for community ownership, once built out.  In addition, each year at least 1% of the turnover from these projects must be invested back into local communities to support rural regeneration and employment.

The Department of Energy, ESB and the CER must put in place the following policy measures to support community projects: a 2.5c/kWh tariff premium, grid exemption and a community quota – whereby at least 25% of any new renewable scheme is ring fenced for community projects that have at least 25% community ownership.

Concluding Mr. Murphy said, “Government and all the State agencies that support the delivery of solar policy in Ireland need to come forward now with a clear policy framework, which supports host landowners and the wider rural community.”

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