‘Time to pay’ help

THE FUW has welcomed the news that the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) “time to pay” agreement has been extended to lamb and dairy farmers, following a meeting with Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb. FUW president Glyn Roberts and FUW milk and dairy produce committee chairman Dei Davies met Mr Bebb who had argued that there was an urgent need for HMRC to offer flexible “time to pay” agreements for dairy and lamb farmers. Mr Roberts said: “News that the HMRC are listening and have put measures in place to help our farmers meet their tax obligations without putting extra pressure on their cashflow must be welcomed.” “Time to pay” arrangements make use of HMRC’s discretionary powers to allow businesses and individuals to pay their tax liabilities over an extended period of time. Each case is considered on its own merits with support being provided for viable, sustainable businesses and individuals who are experiencing genuine short term difficulties. “Milk prices are at their lowest for five years and have fallen 26 per cent over the last 12 months, while lamb prices have also fallen dramatically having been at their lowest for almost three years during the months of May, June and July,” said Mr Roberts. “The decision by some of the UK’s major retailers to flood the shelves with New Zealand lamb rather than honour the commitments made to British farmers after the horsemeat scandal has been deplorable and had a severe impact on farm incomes.” Mr Roberts said the cut in farmgate prices coupled with falls in CAP payments and likely delays in terms of payments being released amounted to a perfect storm for the industry. “The ongoing import ban from Russia prohibiting food imports worth $9 billion from regions including the EU, coupled with changes to the exchange rate, have all had direct and knock-on effect on farm incomes, and news that the Russian embargo will be extended for at least another five months is not going to make life easier. “Any concessions such as that announced by HMRC must be welcomed and we will continue to urge governments at all levels to do more to alleviate the problems facing farm businesses and the knock-on impact on the wider rural economy.” Individuals and businesses who find they are unable to pay their liability in full and on time can contact HMRC’s Business Payment Support Service on 0300 200 3835.

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