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Revenue has left farming sector in ‘paralysis’

May 30th, 2024 8:00 AM

Revenue has left farming sector in ‘paralysis’ Image
Revenue insists it has not changed its interpretation of the Vat refunds. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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REVENUE has left the farming sector in paralysis because of a changed interpretation of Vat refunds, West Cork Senator Tim Lombard said.

Earlier this month, representatives from the Office of the Revenue Commissioners appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and Marine to discuss the issue of Vat refunds to unregistered farmers.

Sen Lombard said it was hoped that Revenue officials would bring clarity to the issue that he said has caused a paralysis in the sector in recent months.

‘The answers given by Revenue and the officials insistence that Revenue’s interpretation of the VAT refund order has not changed was disappointing, to say the least,’ said Sen Lombard.

‘I took exception to Revenue’s stance that the VAT refund order in place since 1972 had not recently changed. One example I have myself is that I secured a VAT refund from Revenue for a 3.5 tonne meal bin on my farm in 2002. Today, I wouldn’t qualify based on Revenues interpretation that a 10 tonne meal bin would only qualify. That is clearly a different interpretation.

‘There is an unbelievable fear in the industry. There is a paralysis actually at the moment. We do not know what we can do because we do not know what we can claim.’

Despite this Revenue insists it has not changed its interpretation of the Vat refunds, something Sen Lombard disputes.

‘I did get reassurance on behalf of farmers that Revenue would not be reviewing past refunds that had been issued,’ said Sen Lombard.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture has appealed to Revenue to review its stance on VAT refunds, particularly in relation to slurry bags, calf feeders, robotic scrapers and meal bins.

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