Digital Policy Misses the Mark with UK Farmers

April 1, 2017 Uncategorized

Taxes on farmersLONDON – Farmers in the UK are not looking forward to digitizing their taxes, primarily due to their poor internet access.

The four biggest farming unions in the UK, the NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and the Ulster Farmers’ Union, have now called on the UK government to reconsider its proposed implementation of the “Make Tax Digital” policy, as many farmers simply do not have access to the internet.

The unions argued that approximately 5 percent of people in the UK do not have access to broadband internet, and many of these people are the farmers who will be negatively impacted by the policy.

It was also noted that these are currently an insufficient number of software providers and programs which are capable of handling the complexity of agricultural taxes, as tax returns for farms require a number of specialized systems and techniques.

Further, the new policy calls for quarterly tax returns, but this frequency is not compatible with farm accounting due to the industry’s seasonality.

Commenting on the overall incompatibility of the “Making Tax Digital” policy with farming accounting the President of the NFU, Meurig Raymond, said “…the government proposes that Making Tax Digital will bring business tax into the digital age, but for many of our members the digital age has yet to be delivered.”