The Minister of State with responsibility for Research & Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development; Martin Heydon TD, today announced the launch of the Acceleration of Wear and Tear Allowances for Farm Safety Equipment Scheme. This follows the signing of the commencement order to allow for accelerated capital allowances on qualifying farm safety and adaptation equipment.
The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, has signed the commencement order for Section 17 of the Finance Act 2020 (No. 26 of 2020) to introduce accelerated capital allowances for qualifying farm safety equipment, with a particular emphasis on supporting those who have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of incidents on farms.
A large proportion of all fatal workplace incidents (42%) occur in the agriculture, fishing and forestry sector. Between 2016 and 2020 there were 100 fatal incidents on farms.
Minister Heydon has worked with Minister Donohoe to introduce accelerated capital allowances for certain farm safety and adaptive equipment for farmers with disabilities.
Currently, capital allowances are available at 12.5% per annum (p.a.) over eight years for agricultural equipment generally. The new scheme will allow for accelerated capital allowances of 50% p.a. over two years for certain eligible equipment. This eligible equipment includes, for example, chemical storage cabinets and anti-backing gates, as well as adaptive equipment to assist farmers with disabilities.
The scheme will be administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Revenue. An annual total equipment cost of €5 million p.a., excluding VAT, for the measure will apply.
Minister Heydon said:
“Having listened to those survivors and families impacted by farm incidents, I am absolutely determined that farmers who have suffered a life-changing injury are not left behind. As the first Minister to be given special responsibility for farm safety, I am delighted to be able to announce, that this scheme is now operational and any qualifying adaptions or equipment purchased since 1st January of this year are eligible under the scheme. Farmers may now apply for certificates for the Accelerated Capital Allowance to my Department. The dedicated email address [email firstname.lastname@example.org ] for applications has already been set up and is operational. With this scheme we are supporting farmers and helping those who have suffered serious physical injury to get back to work. This is more than just about enabling people to getting back to farming, but also about improving their physical and mental wellbeing.”
Speaking today, Minister Donohoe said,
‘This accelerated capital allowance underlines the priority afforded to the issue of farm safety in the Programme for Government and reflects the commitment to make further progress. Farmers are now able to apply to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for a certificate to verify that the investment they have made is eligible for the accelerated capital allowance and then apply to include the tax relief as part of their annual accounts. With the scheme now in place, the measure will be kept under review for the rest of 2021 and beyond’.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, added:
“I am delighted to see that the Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme for Qualifying Farm Safety Equipment is now operational. This scheme reflects how the Department of Agriculture is working with all arms of the Government to drive change in relation to safety behaviour, while supporting those farmers who have suffered serious injury. My Department will continue to focus on farm safety as a priority area. I also want to thank Minister Donohoe and acknowledge his engagement on this important issue.
Notes to Editors
Farm safety is a priority issue for the Government. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) continue to work closely with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), but they report the fatality rate in agriculture is far higher than any other economic sector. A large proportion of all fatal workplace incidents (42% over the last five years) occur in agriculture, fishing and forestry sector. Of 54 deaths in 2020, 20 were in the sector, which is disproportionate to the share of the workforce (7.1% in 2019) employed in the sector.
Between 2016 and 2020 there were 100 fatal incidents on farms. Of these 46 involved a farm vehicle, 7 involved machinery and 20 involved livestock. These three areas accounted for 73% of all fatal incidents on farms. The age profile of those killed is also a serious concern, with the old and the young exceptionally vulnerable to death and injury on Irish farms.
Under the taxation system operated by Revenue, capital allowances may be claimed on capital expenditure incurred on certain types of business assets and business premises. Such capital allowances may be claimed at a rate of 12.5% over eight years for plant and machinery.
The scheme agreed is for accelerated capital allowances of 50% per year for two years which may be claimed in respect of the capital expenditure incurred on eligible equipment. This accelerated capital allowance scheme is subject to a total equipment cost of €5 million per annum excluding VAT (with a total up front estimated tax expenditure cost of €1.5 million per annum).
The scheme will operate on the basis of prescribed farm safety and disabilities adaptation equipment as listed in Section 17 of the Finance Act 2020.
For the purposes of ensuring the €5m (excluding VAT) total equipment cost per annum ceiling is not breached, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) will issue a Farm Safety/Adaptation Accelerated Capital Allowance Certificate for submission to Revenue in support of such claims. The issuing of this certificate by the Department of Agriculture will not imply entitlement to the accelerated capital allowances. It will be the responsibility of all claimants to familiarise themselves with relevant provisions of the tax code, including but not limited to eligibility conditions.
The full terms and conditions for the scheme and application form are available at www.gov.ie/farmsafety
Details of eligible equipment are set out in the table below.
|Hydraulic linkage arms mounted tractor jacking systems.|
|An agricultural tractor jacking system that uses either the rear or front mounted lower linkage arms to enable an agricultural tractor to be lifted so that one or more wheels may be replaced on the agricultural tractor. The jacking system shall bear CE marking in accordance with Article 16 of the machinery Directive and be in conformity with the requirements of that Directive.|
|Big bag (equal to or greater than 500kg) lifter, with or without integral bag cutting system.|
|Lifting system for bags of fertiliser or seed of 500kg mass or greater. The system shall be mounted on either the three-point linkage of an agricultural tractor, front loader of an agricultural tractor or mounted on a fertiliser or seed drill. The lifter shall be capable of securely holding the bag and raising the bag over a fertilizer spreader or seed drill. The system may have an integral system for automatically opening the bag. The lifting system shall bear CE marking in accordance with Article 16 of the machinery Directive and be in conformity with the requirements of that Directive.|
|Chemical Storage cabinets.|
|A storage cabinet fitted with a locking device and integral bund for the storage of pesticides and other chemicals. The cabinet may be made of metal or hard plastic, or a combination of both. The cabinet shall be suitably vented to prevent a build-up of fumes.|
|Animal anti-backing gate for use in cattle crush or race.|
|Device to be mounted on the side of a cattle crush or cattle crush race to prevent an animal from reversing along the cattle crush or cattle crush race. The device shall allow an animal to pass up along the cattle crush or cattle crush race and shall be either automatically or manually moved into position once an animal has passed.|
|Quick hitch mechanism for rear and front three-point linkage to enable hitching of implements without need to descend from tractor.|
|A one-part or two-part system to enable the hitching of implements to an agricultural tractor three-point linkage without having to descend from the agricultural tractor. The system shall be connected to the three-point hydraulic linkage of the agricultural tractor and enable the agricultural tractor to link to an implement. The system shall bear CE marking in accordance with Article 16 of the machinery Directive and be in conformity with the requirements of that Directive.|
|Provision of access lift, hoist or integrated ramp to farm vehicle, including modified entry when required.|
|Provision of an integrated ramp, lift or hoist to facilitate access to a farm vehicle by a disabled person. The system may incorporate a modified side or rear entry to enable access. The lift or hoist system shall bear CE marking in accordance with Article 16 of the machinery Directive and be in conformity with the requirements of that Directive.|
|Provision of wheelchair restraints within a farm vehicle.|
|Wheelchair docking station.|
|Provision of wheelchair docking station within a farm vehicle.|
|Modified controls to enable full hand operation of a farm vehicle.|
|Extensive reconfiguration of primary controls necessary to enable a farm vehicle to be driven and operated by a disabled person.|
|Modified seating to enable operation of a farm vehicle.|
|Provision of an extensively modified seat to enable operation of a farm vehicle by disabled person.|
|Additional steps to farm vehicle or machinery to provide easier access.|
|Additional steps to farm vehicle or machinery to provide easier access. The additional steps shall bear CE marking in accordance with Article 16 of the machinery Directive and be in conformity with the requirements of that Directive.|
|Modified farm vehicle or machinery controls to enable control by hand or foot.|
|Extensive reconfiguration of controls necessary to enable a farm vehicle or farm machinery to be operated by a disabled person.|
|Hydraulically located lower three-point linkage arms.|
|Provision of a hydraulic system to control the location of the lower three-point linkage arms of a farm vehicle.|