As the flooding covering huge areas of farmland in the south of England and elsewhere caused by the record rainfall over the winter months recedes, farmers are counting the cost in terms of damage to crops, stock machinery and buildings, infrastructure such as damaged flood defences, riverbanks, fences, gates and so on.Insurance claims from the flooding are expected to run into hundreds of millions of pounds. David McGeachy, VAT specialist at Saffery Champness, said: "It is important to remember that even though insurance claim settlements are not subject to VAT, the farm or estate is likely to incur VAT on repair works to put right damage or to replace damaged stock for example and this VAT paid is recoverable from HMRC subject to the normal VAT rules. "Similarly, VAT on any legal services that may be required where policies provide cover for such costs may also be subject to the same rules."Where farm or estate businesses are VAT registered they should bring this to the attention of their insurer where they intend to make a claim. They will need to ascertain whether they may be able to recover all of the VAT incurred in connection either with repairs or reimbursement for damage, stock or other property from HMRC. Insurance policies may allow non-VAT registered farmers to make claims for VAT that are not recoverable from HMRC, or in situations where a VAT registered farming business is partially VAT exempt. In these circumstances all of the options should be explored as appropriate to ensure the farming business is not left out of pocket on VAT.