Deadline 15th May
The 15th of May is one of the most important dates for a farmers in the farming year. This is the deadline for declaring the land you are farming in the year 2020 and therefore receive your Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) monies in Oct / Dec. As has been widely shown in numerous farming reports BPS is crucial to the financial viability of farms in Ireland. It can be an incredible stressful time for farmers if this application is incorrect and monies are withheld next Oct / Dec. The following are some basic questions farmers should be asking themselves and their Agri advisors before submitting their applications:
1. Am I farming more / less land than last year?
2. Am I leasing in /out land that wasn’t previously on application?
3. If leasing in / out new land have I leased in /out the BPS correctly with this land?
4. Have you bought / sold / inherited / gifted land in last year – Have I transferred in BPS correctly?
5. Have I declared all of the land I am farming correctly on my BPS application
6. Have I changed farming structure – Limited Company, Registered Farm Partnership, Joint herd number?
a. If so I MUST transfer BPS to the new structure – ALWAYS seek your accountants advise on HOW to transfer BPS so as not to inadvertently incur taxes
b. Have I declared all of the land correctly in the name of the new business structure.
The best advice I can give farmers at this time when completing a BPS application is as follows:
1. Employee a good agri advisor to help you complete your application. This is money very well spent considering the importance of the payment to the financial wellbeing of the farm.
2. If transferring BPS to a new entity (LTD, partnership, joint herd, family member etc) please ensure that BOTH your accountant and Agri Advisor are aware of what’s happening. One of the most common mistakes with farmers changing business structure is neither accountant nor agri advisor is aware of what each one applying for. This can have very serious impacts with BOTH revenue and Dept. Of Agriculture and could result in significant taxes and losses in BPS if completed incorrectly
3. Give yourself time – do not leave this application until the last minute and complete on the 15th May.
In IFAC it is standard practice that we consult with our members Agri Advisors in times of change in the farm to ensure that BPS is not jeopardised in anyway and also ensure no undue taxes are incurred in the change.
Note: This year the Department of Agri require all applications to be made on-line. The Department of Agri are running a number of clinics nationwide to assist farmers in this regard.