The UK’s four farming unions are calling on Government to delay the new Making Tax Digital scheme for farm businesses. They fear that the scheduled implementation will be inaccessible for many farm businesses and difficult to implement properly.
The complex scheme requires access to digital infrastructure that is not available in many rural areas, as 5% of the population does not have adequate access to broadband – many of those people are farmers.
The Unions believe that farmers will have considerable difficulty due to the complexity of modern farm businesses, two-thirds of which run diversified enterprises, requiring different accounting and tax adjustments and potentially separate income and expenditure reporting. In addition to this, there is a lack of suitable and registered software that is compliant with the proposed measures. Farming’s seasonality compounds this, meaning that quarterly tax returns provide little benefit to HMRC or farmers.