Succession matters

When passing on the family farm to the next generation, you will want to make sure you pay as little inheritance tax as possible.

Agricultural Property Relief (APR) can help you pass on some or all of the property free of tax, either during your lifetime or in your will. While this can enable significant savings to be made, there are also conditions attached to the relief:

  • The land in question must fall within the definition of agricultural property
  • It needs to have been in the possession of the owner for two years if they farm it themselves, or seven years if the land is farmed by someone else
  • The farmhouse attached to the land must be occupied for agricultural purposes and be in keeping with the holding

In particular, this final condition can result in significant issues as HM Revenue & Customs looks to increase its tax haul. However, the Upper Tribunal decided in May 2013 that APR can apply where a farmhouse and farmland are not owned by the same person, but are in common occupation.

One other solution is to transfer ownership of the farm to the next generation prior to death. In addition to the inheritance tax benefits, this can also result in the deferral of any gains made during the handover process.

The specialists at Nicholsons have advised a significant number of farming businesses on succession planning and making the most of the reliefs available. Therefore, to find out how we can help you minimise your tax liabilities, please contact us.

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