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Farming Accountants Share Their Expert Tips For 2014

27 Jan 2014
Farming Accountants Share Their Expert Tips For 2014

Cwmbran based accountancy firm Green & Co are local experts in their field of farming accountancy. Headed up  by Nick Park and Ed Gooderham, the organisation has recently celebrated two decades in business.

Founder of the company Hugh Green, and current Director Nick Park who heads the farming division within the company, are both working farmers. Being part of the farming community themselves they are well placed to give up to date help and advice to their clients.

‘‘Farming is a huge part of what we do.” Said Nick Park. “My family have been farming on the Gwent levels since 1901, so it’s in my blood. I’m still active in farming, so know how to approach accounting issues when relating to livestock and land. We have a huge wealth of experience in our team to help farmers get the most effective tax advice and guidance on how to run their businesses.’’

The whole team are experienced in dealing with the farming industry and its related tax issues. The firms’ systems are set up to take advantage of specialist tax reliefs such as Farmers Averaging Elections, Capital Gains Tax relief and Inheritance Tax Planning.

Nick Park shared some of his best tips to benefit farmers in 2014:

  1. Good tax planning. This makes a huge difference to cash flow. On average farmers can save £4,685 in tax.
  2. Tax Relief. You can get 100% tax relief on almost all Plant and Machinery purchases in 2014. But the rules change next year so expenditure must be planned.
  3. Tax Credits. Most family farming businesses should make protective claims for Tax Credits. This can be worth up to £10,000 in low profit years such as when the weather is bad or when you purchase Plant and Machinery.
  4. Personal Allowances. Are all members of the family who help out on the farm paid? If they haven’t used their Personal Allowance this could save up to £2,200 for each person.
  5. Averaging Elections. There are a number of special tax reliefs for Farmers such as ‘Averaging Elections’ and ‘Herd Basis’. Averaging elections alone saved our clients over £100,000 last year. Are you taking advantage of these?

Farm profits can fluctuate wildly from year to year due to many uncontrollable factors, such as weather and the world commodity markets. This means that in one year you may have a very high tax bill, and in another nothing to pay at all. In order to smooth this out, you can make a Farmers’ Averaging Election to average the current year’s profit with the previous year. Used correctly, these Elections can substantially reduce your tax bill and improve cash flow.

Profits from two consecutive years can be averaged if the profit from one year is less than 70% of the profit of the other year. The adjustment results in each year’s taxable profit being half the total of both years. The relief is available to Sole Traders and Partnerships but not Limited Companies.

Discussing new legislation that will help or hinder farmers going forward, Nick Park said: ” 2015 will be the first year of the Basic Payment Subsidy(BPS). It is very important that all land that farmers occupy is shown on their 2014 Single Payment Form so that they are allocated the maximum number of Basic Payment Entitlements. The BPS is an area based payment which is likely to be about £200 per hectare. This will be phased in over five years. If your current rate is significantly different to this you will need to plan for the changes.”

Green & Co, who are regulated by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), draw on their agricultural and commercial expertise to offer accountancy, bookkeeping and tax advisory services to businesses across Wales and the South West of England.


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