John Donoghue, Chief Executive of the accountancy and financial advisory firm IFAC (www.ifac.ie), today warned farmers not to miss the 15 May deadline for their Basic Payment Scheme (BSP). This is the deadline for farmers to declare to the Department of Agriculture the land they are farming in the year 2018 in order to receive their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) monies later in the year.
Speaking today John Donoghue said; “This is the most important deadline of the year for farmers. Don’t miss it or your farm could be in real trouble. We know from working with farmers all over the county that the BPS is crucial to the financial viability of a lot of farms. If you miss the deadline or get the application wrong monies might be withheld for months so you’ll want to avoid that. If you’ve bought, sold or leased land since your last BPS payment or if you’ve changed your farming structure in the past 12 months talk to an accountant to make sure you don’t miss out on monies due to you this year. This can be a very stressful time of the year on farms as deadlines approach. At IFAC we help thousands of farmers to make sure that they get their maximum entitlements each year.”
John Donoghue added: "If you’re a farmer and you’re transferring the BPS to a new entity like a LTD company, partnership or joint herd, make sure that both your accountant and agri advisor know what’s happening. One of the most common mistakes we find with farmers changing business structure is neither the accountant nor the agri advisor have full knowledge of the changes taking place. This can have very serious implications for both Revenue and the Department of Agriculture and could result in significant taxes and losses in BPS if completed incorrectly. Farmers shouldn’t take any risks. Engage a good advisor to help fill out the BPS application and it will be money very well spent considering the importance of the payment to the financial well-being of the farm. At IFAC we have been supporting farmers for over 40 years and we provide expert advice.”
Advice for farmers from IFAC accountants on the BPS:
The following are some basic questions farmers should be asking themselves and their Agri advisors before submitting their BPS applications:
Am I farming more / less land than last year?
Am I leasing in /out land that wasn’t previously on application?
If leasing in / out new land have I leased in /out the BPS correctly with this land?
Have you bought / sold / inherited / gifted land in last year – Have I transferred in BPS correctly?
Have I declared all of the land I am farming correctly on my BPS application
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.