The main CGT reliefs are:

(a) “Retirement” relief: This applies where a person aged 55 or more and disposes of a farm or business (“qualifying assets”), i.e., chargeable business assets – including shares in a family company that have been held for 10 years or more.

If the disposal is to a child of the disponer the gain is exempt (s 599). From 1 January 2014, a lifetime limit of €3m applies if the disponer is aged 66 or over.

For other disposals the CGT is nil if the disposal proceeds do not exceed the lifetime limit of €750,000 (s 598). From 1 January 2014, the lifetime limit is reduced to €500,000 if the disponer is aged 66 or over.

If the proceeds exceed the lifetime limit, the CGT may not exceed half the difference between the proceeds and the lifetime limit.

A disposal of assets held by a family company owner may also qualify for relief provided they are disposed of at the same time and to the same person as the family company shares.

Let farm land can qualify if:

(i) having been farmed prior to letting it is let under the early retirement scheme,

(ii) it is compulsorily acquired and was land let for 5 years the disposal, and

(iii) the disposal is to a child and it was farmed prior to the letting.

Retirement relief is subject to a “bona-fide commercial reasons” anti-avoidance test.

(b) Transfer of business to company (s 600): Where a business and all its (non-cash) assets are transferred as a going concern to a company in exchange for shares in that company, the base cost of those shares (for the purposes of future disposals) is reduced to match the cost of the assets.

(c) Principal private residence (s 604): A gain on the disposal of a main residence is exempt, provided it was occupied as the disponer’s main residence throughout the period of ownership, with the exception of the last 12 months of ownership.