11 August 1995

Tax bills cut by loss of quota

FARMERS tax bills could be cut as a result of the Potato Marketing Board declaring 1996 a non-quota year, says quota broker Ian Potter.

With the abolition of the quota system a year earlier than planned, the Inland Revenue now accepts that potato quota is worthless, he says. And therefore, the loss in value compared to its purchase price (or its value as at Mar 31, 1982, if acquired before then) can be set against capital gains tax.

Mr Potter advises growers to take action now, "as the loss applies only from the date of the claim and the rules might change".

But Carlton Collister, tax specialist at accountants Grant Thornton, says that, in some circumstances, losses may be better carried forward, especially if gains in the current year are covered by annual exemptions anyway.

&#8226 Potato prices are firming as the dry weather continues, ex-farm values rising almost £5 to average £96/t last week. The bullish mood continues in the potato futures market, April futures trading at £267/t on Tuesday (Aug 8).