I always think that acting for the modern farming family is akin to being the accountant of a commercial industrial trading group in terms of the complexity and challenges.
With a farming business, one is likely to encounter:
- At least one Limited Company but quite probably more, reflecting diversified operations.
- A trading Partnership.
- A family Trust.
- A property letting entity.
- Family members letting land to the farming operation.
- Shareholding spread amongst the wider family.
In terms of the Financial Statements prepared, this will present format and disclosure challenges.
Especially, the advisor will be confronted by the whole gamut of UK taxes – Corporation Tax, Income Tax, PAYE, VAT, CGT, IHT, SDLT, ATED.
Within this formidable list there are some issues particularly relevant for farmers:
- Farmers averaging
- Restriction of trading losses
- VAT partial exemption
- Buildings and structures allowance
- Optimising any investment allowance and capital allowance claims
- The Farmhouse
- Benefits in Kind
- The Herd basis
- Share farming
- Support payments
The advisor has also got to be particularly heedful of:
- Succession planning
- Development land opportunities
If truth be told, I am just tackling the surface of the challenges facing the advisor.
When one takes all of this into account, the Accountant really does need to be a specialist to be able to offer best advice to the farming family.
At Lambert Chapman LLP, we have considerable experience in dealing with Agricultural and Farming businesses. Please get in touch to arrange a meeting with the team to discuss your requirements.