Now is the time to make sure your farm business has the most tax-effective structure, Grant Thornton‘s Andrew Slack has advised.

Tax payments on 31 January 2009 could be unexpectedly high for many, on the back of better harvest profits, and there was also evidence that HM Revenue & Customs was making more random tax enquiries, he warned.

Farmers should make sure business structures minimise capital taxes, stock valuations are on the most tax-effective basis and close attention is paid to the presentation of income and expenditure in accounts, he said. “Good communication with your accountant could help protect you from the clutches of the taxman and should prove value for money.”