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01748 829210

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In 2012 the agricultural sector put itself on hold when we were confronted with a new phrase to add to the ever growing rural dictionary – ‘the golden ticket’.  This was not the unencumbered access to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but the base year that you must have claimed your Single Payment Scheme (SPS) if you were to be eligible to claim the new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) under the CAP reform that is set to take place at the end of this year.  Since 2012, changing your farming structure has been a very dangerous option as one ran the risk of losing the ‘golden ticket’ if they had failed to claim in the designated scheme year.  Therefore, just a simple change in partnership could have had very expensive consequences.

Have no fear as it has now been confirmed that the concept of the ‘golden ticket’ has been abandoned and that you are free to change your business structure without running the risk of losing your entitlements in the long run.  Therefore, decisions that have been put off to re-structure have been put on hold for almost two years, but the need to re-structure may still be there.  However, whilst we look forward to 2015, we should also look back to see what decisions we had put on hold whilst there was doubt.  Had we planned to bring in the next generation into the farming business?  Had we considered changing to a Limited Company to become shareholders?  Had we decided to retire but then held off until the rules were confirmed?

In addition to confirmation of the rules of eligibility, we are now better educated on the intricate workings of the National Reserve. There are clear opportunities to be seized from the National Reserve Scheme, with particular attention focused on new entrants.  If you were considering passing on the business to the next generation, then have you considered the New Entrant Farmer Supplement?  Do you have naked acres that the National Reserve could support with a New Entrant without having the need to buy the entitlements in?  You are now in a position to re-structure the business before the new regime begins.  But remember, if the new structure involves the transfer of entitlements, you must do this prior to 20th October 2014 in order to transfer them under the Single Payment Scheme, otherwise any re-structuring must wait until after January 2015.

Finally, do not forget that on 15th May 2015 any unclaimed entitlements will be lost as part of the transition on to BPS.  Therefore, any excess entitlements after the May 2015 claim will not be there in the future.  If you have an excessive number of extra entitlements that you have been rotating each year, then why not sell them whilst you still can?

If you need any further guidance on these matters, we will be holding free BPS Workshops over the next few months across the area.  To register your interest and to find out where the seminars are taking place, please contact the GSC Grays Richmond office tel: 01748 829210 or email: for further information.


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