Running a Bed & Breakfast business from your farmhouse can introduce some diversified income into the family and make use of some unused bedrooms.
Such an enterprise can also be tax-efficient. A farmhouse Bed & Breakfast business qualifies for the rent-a-room allowance, which has increased to £7,500 per annum from 6 April 2016.
With commodity prices fluctuating wildly in recent years, profits (and hence tax liabilities) can also fluctuate from one year to the next. Given the HMRC payment on account system, this can mean that your tax bill is higher than necessary.
Payments on account are calculated as 50% of the prior year’s tax bill, with one payment due by 31 January of the tax year, and the other payment due by 31 July after the end of the tax year.
Mark Grimshaw, the chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), recently presented to the Tenant Farmers Association Recommended Professionals Meeting in London. One of the main items on the agenda was the progress of 2016 Basic Payment Scheme receipts and I have summarised some of the discussions below.
Major changes are being made to the way in which all taxpayers interact with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The Government is referring to these changes as “Making Tax Digital” and they are proposing a staged introduction to the new rules, starting for many in April 2018.
The proposals are wide-ranging, but one of the biggest changes planned is an electronic quarterly report to HMRC of income and expenditure.
The UK’s choice to leave the European Union has both short and long term implications for British farmers and landowners.
Since the referendum result was announced in June, the pound has fallen significantly. This has facilitated an increase in crop prices, which – whilst still below the cost of production for many farms – will provide a welcome cash boost for any farmers with unsold produce from the 2016 harvest.
With lower crop prices in recent years, it will come as a gentle relief that the payments due to farmers from the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will increase by 16.54% when compared to the 2015 scheme monies received.
In brief, this has resulted from a favourable euro to pound exchange rate, being used by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) for calculating BPS amounts due to those farmers choosing to be paid in sterling.
Legislation is currently being progressed through parliament to enable farmers to choose between averaging their profits over two years, five years or not at all. The rules take effect from the 2016/17 tax year.
Farmers will only be able to average their profits if they meet a volatility test, i.e.
The guaranteed minimum price has been set at £22 per tonne and a bonus may be paid on top, depending on the EU sugar price. Growers can enter into either a one year or three year contract, or a combination thereof. The three year contract will attract a higher bonus.
The bonus will be payable once the EU sugar price exceeds €475 and it is welcome news that farmers will directly benefit when the sugar market improves.
Is this good news for all of our company clients?
From 30 June 2016, Companies House will be phasing out the annual return. One less form to fill in, we hear you cry! But wait – there had to be a catch.
The annual return is being replaced by a Confirmation Statement. This new statement will have the catchy title of CS01.
HMRC review tax-free accommodation
On 14 December, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued a consultation paper examining the area of “employer provided accommodation.” The intention is “to understand how well understood the rules are, and to what extent they are still relevant and appropriate today.