Hot weather impact on yields, and some reassuring news from the OTS?

11 July 2018

With the continuing hot weather, harvest is now rapidly approaching, and although I have not seen any combines in action as yet I have seen them out of the sheds and in the yards being readied to start work. The downside of this sustained weather pattern of very dry and hot temperatures is that yields will take a hit as the crops die back rather than ripen to their full potential. This, coupled with crop concerns around the world, is helping to push the prices up and hopefully any loss in yield can be recovered at least in part by an improvement in price.

On a separate matter and referring back to my blog from 23 February this year, there may be some reassuring news on the likely outcome of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) review of Inheritance Tax. I read with interest an article on this topic by Louise Speke, the CLA’s Chief Tax Adviser in the CLA’s July edition of the Land & Business publication. In summary, it would appear that the OTS is unlikely to recommend that Agricultural Property Relief (APR) is withdrawn and unlikely that the OTS will be calling for Business Property Relief (BPR) to be removed. The OTS has the summer to write its report with recommendations to The Chancellor, this will be published in the autumn and it is then up to the Chancellor to decide upon any major changes to the tax to be announced at the next Budget.

This is not a guarantee that APR and BPR are safe for the future protection of the farm business, but it is hopefully some positive news as you start your 2018 harvest.

We will keep you informed of developments but in the meantime if you are reviewing your succession plans, please contact your local expert for more information.

To read more rural and agricultural blogs, click here.