Agricultural Journal Autumn 2021

Welcome to the Autumn edition of our Agricultural Journal

On behalf of our Agriculture and Landed Estates team, I am very pleased to introduce the Autumn edition of our Agricultural Journal, which is packed with articles that I hope you will find interesting and relevant to the challenges faced by rural businesses and their owners.

Against a continuing backdrop of uncertainty, transition and dare I say it tax rises, relaxations in social distancing have made it possible for us to get back into the rural community to catch up with our clients and friends, attending the Ayrshire Cattle Conference and joining GSC Grays’ March for Mind with a 30 kilometre walk across the Yorkshire Dales.

We eagerly await the outcome of Defra’s consultation on Direct Payments and in particular clarification regarding the tax treatment to be applied to lump sums to be paid to farmers who choose to exit the industry.  Meantime, the Government’s Agricultural Transition Plan continues to unfold with a raft of new schemes coming online, which Amanda Cooper has summarised for us.

On 27 October, Rishi Sunak will deliver his Autumn Budget and will set out the Government’s spending plans.  You will see from Liz Rothery’s article that we already know we are facing national insurance and dividend tax increases, but there is speculation that we may also see increases in capital gains tax and a perennial concern that valuable inheritance tax reliefs might be at risk.  Naturally, we will keep you informed of any relevant matters announced.

Within this edition of our Agricultural Journal we are taking the opportunity to remind you of looming changes relating to VAT rates for hospitality businesses and changes to the VAT compliance landscape effective April 2022. You will also find our thoughts on the Government’s proposal to change the way in which sole trader and partnership business profits are taxed. Recognising the risks associated with farming, Peter Glenton discusses the ways in which insurance can be used to provide financial security in times of need. In a similar vein, I share my thoughts on the inheritance tax implications of refinancing old borrowing and Anthony Main discusses the interaction between inheritance tax and Farm Business Tenancies.

As ever, please do get in touch with one of our Agricultural and Landed Estates Team if you would like to discuss any of the matters raised.

Helen Pennock
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