Blake Lapthorn Rural Professionals breakfast - Oxford - 13 February 2013


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Blake Lapthorn's Rural team hosted a Rural Professionals breakfat at Oxford on 13 February 2013.

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Blake Lapthorn Rural Professionals breakfast - Oxford - 13 February 2013

  1. 1. Rural Professionals Breakfast 13 February 2013 Mark Charter, Partner and Head of Rural
  2. 2. "If People have full stomachs they can have the luxury of multiple problems – if you are hungry you only have one problem" Nick Tapp
  3. 3. Committed to reduce form filling/bureaucracy Food self sufficiency CAP reform – there is a role to play for public money tocompensate farmers for environmental benefits Bovine TB is the most pressing health problem I am determined that disease in trees and plants received thesame attention as disease in animals Owen Paterson, Oxford Farming Conference 2013
  4. 4. Outlook Poor crop establishment Rising food prices Increasing concern about disease control CAP reform uncertainty Land supply shortage Rent review uncertainty Other related rural sectors under pressure eg: Shooting (game bird cost, PAYE for beaters) Equestrian – increased feed cost
  5. 5. CAP reform: Current system ends on 31 December 2013 Golden ticket or simple carry forward? Irish presidency of the European Union until end of June2013 Multi-annual Financial Framework Reforms will not be ready to apply until January 2015 Will need to be transitional arrangements for 2014 Pragmatism to prevail?
  6. 6. Current Ash dieback (chalara fraxinea) preventative measuresremain in force New Environmental Stewardship handbooks for any schemecommencing on or after 1 January 2013 Revised nitrate vulnerable zone maps come into force on 1January 2013 £15 million Rural Community Renewable Energy Fund tolaunch by March 2013 House of Lords vote on abolition of Agricultural WagesBoard (February/March 2013)
  7. 7. Cattle and Dairy Regulation 261/2012 – Producer Organisations (POs) in the dairysector DEFRA Consultation closed on 21 January 2013 What legal structures will POs adopt? Minimum of 10 members or 6 million litres of raw milk deliveredannually? Pilot badger culls in West Somerset and West Gloucestershirepostponed to Summer 2013 Hampshire and Oxfordshire from 1 January 2013 amongst countiesplaced on annual TB testing January – October 2012 - 31,146 cattle slaughtered - bovine TB risenby 12% in last year (Farmers Weekly 25 January 2013) Schmallenberg virus
  8. 8. Agricultural rights of way Giles v Tarry [2012] EWCA Civ 837 (1) Mohit Dutta (2) Amanda Queiroz v Thomas Hayes [2012] EWHC 1727 (ch)
  9. 9. Agricultural tenancy issues Morrison-Low v The Executors of Patterson [2012] CSIH 10 Environmental Stewardship Handbooks 2013/Case B Schedule 3 Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 The Agricultural Holdings (Units of Production) (England) Order 2012 Spencer and another v Secretary of State for Defence [2012] EWCA Civ 1368
  10. 10. Planning1. Removing Ag Tie Restrictions Rasbridge, Re Cefn Betingau Farm, Sept 2012 Restriction in planning agreement Wales Appn to Lands Chamber (LPA 1925 s84) Ag tie related to only part of the land for sale Highlights: – Onerous nature – Rigorous need for market testing – Onus of proof rests on the applicant
  11. 11. 1. Removing Ag Tie Restrictions General rule: – Market testing is the indicator of need – Marketed at lower value for a period time – No offers indicate no need Little guidance on market testing – Welsh Practice Guidance… – Reasonable period = at least 12 mths – Advertised to relevant potential tenants/buyers – Price/rent reflects the ag tie (70-75% OMV)
  12. 12. 1. Removing Ag Tie Restrictions What had been done? – Marketed Jul 2008 to Sept 2009 – Price reduced initially 28% and by the end 39% – Price estimate based on agent’s 40yrs experience – Price based on 9 comparable properties from agent’s database – Advertised in local press 13 times – Advertised on websites (agents, Rightmove etc) Decision – Application to discharge dismissed – Market testing not sufficiently rigorous to establish lack of demand
  13. 13. 1. Removing Ag Tie Restrictions What were the problems and what was required? – Of the nine comparable properties only one was subject to an ag tie – No detailed objective analysis of the comparable properties, only basic info given – Analysis of an experienced valuer inevitably needed and weight should be given to that expertise – Failure to keep proper records of interest shown (oral, emails or www) – Property should also have been marketed with extra land not subject to ag tie – Failure to offer property for rent
  14. 14. 1. Removing Ag Tie Restrictions What were the problems and what was required? (cont) – No advertisements in specialist farming press – No explicit adjustments made in price to reflect general market movement which should have been distinguished from the ag tie discount element – An ag tie restriction over part was in practice a restriction over the whole Lessons equally applicable to ag ties on planning consents and in England
  15. 15. Rural Professionals Breakfast Tax update Philip Allen, Associate
  16. 16. CGT and Entrepreneurs’ Relief Disposal of whole or part of business Contrast disposal of asset of business Russell v HMRC [2012] – Only business was land (21h farmed; 6h sold for development) – No post-sale change in continuing business – Fall in profits after sale insufficient – But what could Mr Russell have done? Upturn in property market will raise development opportunities and ER availability more often
  17. 17. Inheritance TaxBusiness Property Relief N V Pawson v HMRC [2012] – Upper Tax Tribunal has denied BPR on single Furnished Holiday Letting – Must be run with view to profit – Degree of involvement in management – Extent of services to holiday makers
  18. 18. Income Tax - relief G Pratt & Sons v HMRC – Farm drive re-surfacing – income or capital expense? – It was a repair to existing drive, not renewal
  19. 19. Income Tax - Farm profit averaging claims Donaghy v HMRC [2012] – Can’t average a profit against a loss – Loss must be treated as nil profit – Mr Donaghy’s accountant claimed Human Rights Act 1998 applied: averaging doesn’t solve profit/loss volatility!
  20. 20. Income Tax – anti-avoidance S10 Finance Act 2012/s127B Income Tax Act 2007 – Individual or partnership – Makes loss in property business – That business has a relevant agricultural connection – No property loss relief against general income for agricultural expenses arising in connection with “relevant tax avoidance arrangements”
  21. 21. VAT and Self Storage More self storage reflects diversification Exemption ended 1 October 2012 Now standard-rated Need to identify inputs and apply VAT properly
  22. 22. General Anti-Abuse Rule HMRC and “abusive tax avoidance schemes” Main purpose is obtaining tax advantage ie anything more than incidental Draft Finance Bill 2013 Chance to comment ended 6 February 2013 Double reasonableness test Too little guidance about impact on the “grey” cases Will affect Inheritance Tax despite warnings
  23. 23. Annual Residential Property Tax Finance Bill 2013 contains draft rules Annual charge – starts w.e.f 6 April 2013 High-value UK residential properties ie £2m+ @ 1 April 2012 Owned by certain Non-Natural Persons ARPT arises if a company or partnership (or collective investment scheme) meets the “ownership condition” in relation to a “single-dwelling interest” Problems may arise for partnerships with a corporate member £15,000 charge for a relevant £2m-£5m interest Relief for farmhouses – check criteria Lots of details to check; more draft legislation published 31 January incl extensions to CGT
  24. 24. Disgruntled beneficiaries Loose talk costs farms - proprietory estoppel Suggitt v Suggitt [2012] – Spendthrift son – Assurance, reliance and detriment – Vital to review clients’ wills (and other documents)