The removal of forestry to enable the construction of windfarms is controlled under the Forest Service policy on the granting of felling licences for wind farm development, June 2011.
Limited felling licences are required for both infrastructure and turbulence felling.
Forestry Services Ltd have and are currently acting for a number of windfarm development companies in all forestry issues related to windfarm development. We are now in a position to provide a turnkey service to such companies encompassing the following:
Licences must be secured before felling can take place. Our advice to wind farm development companies is to allow up to 12 months to go through the necessary process to secure the approvals from the Forest Service. Forestry Services Ltd completes compensation application for clients. If you require assistance in such applications please contact us.
All forest owners who have greater than 5ha of broadleaf forest or 10ha of conifer forest are required to prepare a year 10 management plan. Forestry Services Ltd prepare such plans for forest owners and provide management services for the crop as requested by the owners. Contact your local forester here
Forestry Services Ltd provides a comprehensive forest valuation service to clients for use in the following areas:
We undertake reforestation projects on both establish and maintain contracts and on a consultancy basis. Costs associated with reforestation are site specific. Contact us for advice on reforestation.
Estate management is one of the most challenging types of work in the forestry sector, frequently involving broadleaf and conifer mixtures. It is a fascinating job which requires specific skills in both silviculture and wildlife management while availing of the numerous grants which are available to assist in such management. Estate owners may not always be familiar with the array of grants and supports available to them. The staff of Forestry Services Ltd is up to date with the latest grant levels and qualifying criteria. The company currently manages estates in all regions ensuring that all our managers have expertise in everything from watercourse management to the harvesting and marketing of broadleaves.
A number of factors need to be considered when selecting species;
When taking the above factors into account a species can be chosen based on the local conditions on the farm. In certain areas the presence of deer, rabbits or squirrels may limit choice of species, and trees planted may require additional protection. The Forest Service approves the following species for payment of grant aid.
Other broadleaves not on the list can be planted in small groups in order to give color and variety along road edges or where plantations are adjacent to dwelling houses.
Western red cedar
Income from the occupation of woodlands in the State, managed on commercial basis and with a view to the realisation of profits, is exempt from Income Taxes for individuals and companies regardless of their residence or domicile.
The High Earners Income Tax restriction which limited the exemption to €80,000 per annum is abolished from 1/1/2016.
Woodland Grants are not treated as income but in the preparation of Annual Accounts by an owner the cost of planting and maintenance should be shown as net of grants received.
PRSI: Income from commercial woodland, including the forest premium, is reckoned for the purposes of PRSI.
Universal Social Charge: Income from commercial woodlands, including the forest premium, is reckoned for the purposes of USC.
Rates of Charge:
1% on income up to €12,012
3% on income from €12,013 to €18,668
5.5% on income from €18,669 to €70,044
8% on income from €70,044 to €100,000
11% over €100,000 on Self-employment income only
CGT: Commercial woodlands occupied by individuals are exempt from CGT on the growing timber. The underlying land is not exempt but chargeable gains are restricted to the surplus over inflation adjusted cost. CGT is not applicable to a disposal on death. The exemption does not apply to companies which occupy woodlands. The current rate of CGT is 33%.
VAT: Commercial forestry operation is regarded as agricultural production and exempt from VAT but the exemption may be waived. It may be efficient to waive exemption and this recover VAT on all the inputs of goods and services supplied to the woodland occupier.
Repayments of VAT are made promptly even though the woodland may not produce any taxable supplies for many years. Once registered for VAT, any supply by the woodland, including disposal, will attract a charge to VAT.
An unregistered woodland owner can add flat rate VAT of 5.2% to an invoice to compensate for VAT inputs that were incurred but cannot be recovered. The invoice must make it clear that the owner is not registered and that it is merely the flat rate refund.
Non-residential property: 2%
Residential up to €1m: 1%
Over €1m: 2%
Transfers of property between spouses and within group related companies are exempt.
Growing timber in commercial woodlands is exempt from Stamp Duty but the underlying land is not.
Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) i.e. (Inheritance and Gift): Commercial woodlands in the State are subject to CAT on gifts to, or inheritance by, individuals regardless of the residence or domicile of the disponer and beneficiary. In addition to specific exempt thresholds, relief is available to commercial woodlands as agricultural property.
The relief, as a reduction in market value is as follows:
Agricultural relief is restricted and is subject to the ‘80% agricultural property’ test and ‘active farmer’ requirements. The recipient of the woodlands must retain them for 6 years but can sell and purchase replacement woodlands in the 6 year period without losing the 90% Relief. Sale of Timber in the 6 year period does not affect the Relief.
Where a beneficiary of a Gift or Inheritance cannot qualify for Agricultural Relief because less than 80% of their assets are in Agricultural property, they must be in a position to claim Business Relief. Like Agricultural Relief, it allows a 90% discount from market value to arrive at the taxable value of a Gift or Inheritance. However there are some differences in the conditions to qualify for Business Relief compared to those for Agricultural Relief and advice should be sought.
Relevant Contract Tax: This is not a tax on forestry but is a procedure to ensure tax compliance by forestry contractors. It can apply where a forest owner engages a contractor to harvest timber. If in doubt Revenue should be contracted and set procedures followed. Revenue will then instruct on any relevant deductions.
The above information is based on the Law at 28/10/2015 and is a general summary only. All readers are advised to take independent advice on any tax or associated issues relating to their forestry.
Applications for compensation from the ESB for loss of premium can be made for areas suitable for afforestation but left unplanted as a result of the presence of an ESB line. This is also the case where plantations have to be removed for the installation of ESB lines.
The compensation payable is based on the value of the land and the IFA ESB agreement for the loss of tree planting rights allows for payment to the landowner an amount equivalent to 75% of the value of the affected area. This is payable on foot of an easement in favour of the ESB.
In addition to this, premium based compensation is also payable by the ESB to the landowner. Methods of calculation are based on a standard annuity table, taking into account Premium rate, number of years and Interest rate.
Forestry Services Ltd completes such ESB compensation application for clients. If you require assistance in such applications please contact us.
Forestry Services Ltd provides expert advice on disputes in relation to forestry. The most common occurrence is in relation to: