Max­imis­ing farm grant pay­ments

There are dif­fer­ent grant rates and lim­its avail­able de­pend­ing on a farmer’s age and other fac­tors, writes

Irish Independent - Farming - - FINANCE FARMING -

THE Tar­geted Agri­cul­tural Mod­erni­sa­tion Schemes (TAMS) have proven to be a very valu­able in­cen­tive towards farm devel­op­ment since their in­tro­duc­tion un­der the 2014-2020 Ru­ral Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme.

With the ex­pected in­crease in health and safety in­spec­tions on farms, an in­creased em­pha­sis on im­prov­ing Ire­land’s wa­ter qual­ity and aims to re­duce am­mo­nia emis­sions from agri­cul­ture, the TAMS scheme will play a cen­tral role in achiev­ing the rel­e­vant tar­gets.

The ad­vent of these schemes al­lied to the in­tro­duc­tion of reg­is­tered part­ner­ships and the growth in lim­ited com­pa­nies as a trad­ing en­tity for farm­ers has cre­ated a num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties for farm­ers to max­imise the level of grant aid avail­able through col­lab­o­ra­tive farm­ing ar­range­ments. The level of aid can be fur­ther en­hanced where a Young Farmer is part of such a col­lab­o­ra­tive ar­range­ment.

GRANT RATES

The max­i­mum grant en­ti­tle­ment will de­pend on two fac­tors in the first in­stance, namely, the rate of grant and the in­vest­ment limit. The rate of grant will be ei­ther 40pc or 60pc de­pend­ing on whether the ap­pli­cant is a ‘Young Farmer’ by def­i­ni­tion. A ‘Young Farmer’ means a per­son who is not more than 40 years of age at the time of sub­mit­ting the ap­pli­ca­tion, pos­sesses ad­e­quate oc­cu­pa­tional skills and com­pe­tence and is set­ting up for the first time in an agri­cul­tural hold­ing as head of that hold­ing. Such a per­son may be en­ti­tled to a 60pc rate of grant while per­sons other than young farm­ers may be en­ti­tled to a 40pc rate.

Reg­is­tered part­ner­ships where one part­ner is a Young Farmer will at­tract a grant rate of 60pc on the first €80,000 and 40pc on the re­main­der. In the case of col­lab­o­ra­tive struc­tures in­volv­ing Young Farm­ers, the rate of grant and the in­vest­ment limit can vary de­pend­ing on the na­ture of the struc­ture and these are set out in Ta­ble 1.

IN­VEST­MENT LIM­ITS

The in­vest­ment limit per hold­ing is typ­i­cally €80,000 for an in­di­vid­ual or €160,000 for a reg­is­tered part­ner­ship with two or more el­i­gi­ble part­ners, with the ex­cep­tion of the Low Emis­sions Slurry Spread­ing Scheme as de­tailed be­low. There are var­i­ous col­lab­o­ra­tive ar­range­ments that may or may not at­tract the max­i­mum in­vest­ment limit. These are de­tailed in Ta­ble 2.

LOW EMIS­SIONS SLURRY SPREAD­ING SCHEME

The max­i­mum amount of in­vest­ment el­i­gi­ble for grant-aid un­der the Low Emis­sions Slurry Spread­ing Scheme is €40,000 per hold­ing. How­ever, in the case of a joint ap­pli­ca­tion by two or more el­i­gi­ble part­ners un­der a reg­is­tered part­ner­ship, the max­i­mum el­i­gi­ble in­vest­ment ceil­ing is in­creased to €60,000.

The in­vest­ment ceil­ing un­der this scheme is not sub­ject to the over­all TAMS II in­vest­ment ceil­ing of €80,000/€160,000 per hold­ing. In or­der to qual­ify for grant aid at 60pc, ap­pli­ca­tions in re­spect of the Low Emis­sions Slurry Spread­ing Scheme in­vest­ments from qual­i­fy­ing Young Farm­ers must be sub­mit­ted un­der the Young Farmer Cap­i­tal In­vest­ment Scheme.

FARM­ERS MAY NEED TO ACT NOW

Farm­ers need to be aware that the ap­pli­ca­tion process can be slow. For ex­am­ple, if your pro­posed devel­op­ment re­quires plan­ning per­mis­sion, as most do, you need to al­low for a 12-month turn­around pe­riod be­fore a build­ing is ready for use.

Plan­ning can take four moths or more and TAMS ap­proval can take a fur­ther five months all go­ing well and this is be­fore a sod is turned. As we are now in early May the chances of hav­ing a func­tion­ing struc­ture in place for the com­ing win­ter is min­i­mal. In the case of mo­bile equip­ment, the turn­around pe­riod for ap­proval will be con­sid­er­ably less due to the fact you do not re­quire plan­ning per­mis­sion. The cur­rent win­dow for ap­pli­ca­tions closes on June 8 and the fol­low­ing win­dow will run un­til Septem­ber 7.

Martin O’Sul­li­van is the au­thor of the ACA He is a part­ner in O’Sul­li­van Malone and Com­pany, ac­coun­tants and reg­is­tered au­di­tors; Do

Dif­fer­ent rates of grants apply to farm part­ner­ships de­pend­ing on the na­ture of the col­lab­o­ra­tion

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