Call for tax incentives on land lets

NFU Scotland has reiterated to UK Chancellor George Osborne its proposal to encourage more land to be let via a tax incentive scheme.

In its UK Budget 2012 submission, the Union has outlined a proposed tax incentive scheme to promote the letting of agricultural land to new entrants as one way of helping to ease the deadlock that they say is prohibiting them from getting a foothold in the industry.

The proposed scheme would give landowners an agricultural business allowance which would be deducted from rental income as if it were a business expense, reducing their tax bill if they let land to a new agricultural business.

NFUS has also stressed the importance of other tax-related issues to the health of the food and farming industries, including a reduction in fuel duty, the imposition of mandatory online filing, inheritance tax relief on tenants’ diversifications, agricultural buildings allowances and annual investment allowances.

NFU Scotland’s Vice-President, John Picken said: “Our proposal would cost the taxpayer very little, as it would only apply in a comparatively small number of cases.

Because of the appetite for enterprise by those wanting to get involved in Scottish agriculture, such a move would quickly pay dividends for the economy.”