New rules which will require income tax records to be filled in online every three months could actually be of benefit to a farm business, a local accountant has suggested.
According to Claire McCallion, senior manager at PKF-FPM Accountants, farmers should not be afraid of the next steps in the Making Tax Digital (MTD) process.
The first MTD requirement for most NI farmers was in April 2019 when VAT-registered businesses with an annual turnover above £85,000 had to start keeping digital VAT records.
We are sometimes tempted to just do the minimum compliance requirement
This is being extended to all VAT-registered business, regardless of turnover, in April 2022. The next MTD step after that is currently planned for April 2023, when unincorporated businesses will need to submit accounting records on a quarterly basis for income tax calculations.
“We are sometimes tempted to just do the minimum compliance requirement, but I would encourage you to explore the opportunities that digital accounting software can bring,” McCallion said.
During her presentation on a UFU women in agriculture webinar last week, McCallion pointed out that filing income tax records online every three months could lead to better cashflow management within farm businesses.
There are a number of different software packages out there. I would encourage you to pick one that suits you
It could also allow for more informed decision making when planning expenditure to minimise tax liabilities, she added.
However, McCallion acknowledged that issues such as slow broadband or a lack of computer skills could mean MTD will be a challenge for many local farmers.
“Take hope. It shouldn’t be feared. There are a number of different software packages out there. I would encourage you to pick one that suits you and to speak to your accountant for advice,” she said.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) would benefit from more women being involved in its policy committees, the organisation’s president Victor Chesnutt has said.
“We need more ladies involved right throughout our union structure. I think it’s a resource that we haven’t tapped into and it will do our union good,” he told attendees at the UFU women in agriculture event last Wednesday evening.
The Bushmills farmer added that the union should elect its first female president “on merit, rather than just because we want one”.
“I have no doubt that, when a suitable candidate comes forward, we will have a woman president at the UFU,” he concluded.
Earlier in the day, at the UFU AGM Chestnutt committed to engaging the UFU board to examine how to get more women to engage in committees.
“I would like to see a review of our UFU committees, both on the length of tenure, and no more multi-jobbing,” he said.