The Government plans to bring business tax into the digital age but unions said the digital age had not yet been delivered to farms
UK farming unions have called on the Government to delay its Making Tax Digital scheme for farm businesses.
NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and Ulster Farmers’ Union said they feared the new system would be inaccessible to many farm businesses.
5 per cent of the population does not have adequate access to broadband and many of those people are farmers.
NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “The Government proposes that Making Tax Digital will bring business tax into the digital age but for many of our members the digital age has yet to be delivered to them by the Government.
“This fact, combined with overwhelming complexity, is why action is necessary,” he said.
“We have serious concerns for those farm businesses that will be among the first forced to comply with these changes and the issues this may bring, not to mention the potential costs involved.”
The Government has announced the implementation would be delayed until 2019 for small businesses but Mr Raymond said it was insufficient time for the industry.
He added farmers would have ‘considerable difficulty’ due to the complexity of modern farm businesses with diversified entities requiring different accounting and tax adjustments.
“Farming’s seasonality compounds this, meaning that quarterly tax returns provide little benefit to HMRC or farmers,” he said.