Changes to accommodation tax for farm workers 'in sight'
Catherine Desmond, Partner, Saffery Champness, and a member of the firm’s Landed Estates and Rural Business Group, said this will inevitably impact on farms and estates where certain jobs have traditionally come with accommodation provided.
She said: "The OTS has stressed that there is only no tax charge on living accommodation provided to an employee if the provision of accommodation is necessary for the proper performance of that employee’s duties and, under any future dispensation, that test would have to be properly met.
"The OTS perspective is that times have changed, people now have greater mobility and often would prefer to control their own accommodation requirements by either renting or purchase rather than to depend on tied accommodation, and land-based employees are far fewer in number."
The report also looks at whether the exemption should be applicable in cases where it is customary for the employer to provide living accommodation for employees. This test currently focuses on whether the accommodation is provided for the better performance of duties, which is more relaxed in terms of criteria than being necessary as is proposed. Catherine Desmond says:
The OTS report singles out the rural sector since this recommendation will cover many who could collectively be categorised as estate workers, whether gamekeepers, stalkers, shepherds or other farm workers.
The last review of this type was carried out in 1977, and much has changed since that time, not least property values which have increased significantly in tandem with rents, thereby making the value of the benefit considerably greater.
"We anticipate that changes in relation to tax charges on living accommodation could be included in the 2014 Budget as a quick win for tax simplification, and it would be sensible for farm and estate owners who provide such benefits to review their own arrangements," said Desmond.
"We suggest taking professional advice before having appropriate discussions with those employees who may be affected by possible changes to their benefits in future."
No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment
Please enter your name
Please enter your comment
Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.
Some error on your process.Please try one more time.
The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...
The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...
The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...
Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...
There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...
Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...
The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...
Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...
The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...