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Planting crops to suit soil type, improving soil structure and reducing fertiliser use – just three ways growers could be finanically rewarded for the way they farm.
Anything that improves yields, reduces losses or pest damage, or improves cost and time efficiencies is classed by the government as “innovative” and therefore qualifies for R&D tax credits for any farm that is trading as a company.
Eligible innovations don’t need to be cutting-edge, unique or complex; neither do they need to be successful to be included in a claim. Best of all, the application process does not have to be admin-heavy.
So why aren’t more farmers taking advantage of this simple tax relief? “I think the confusion is that people don’t realise they are doing it because of the phrase ‘R&D’,” says Morgan Scale of Benton Farm, Pembrokeshire.
“In reality it is so much simpler than you’d expect – it is just looking at alternatives, working on something that’s different to what you are doing currently and trying a new technique or process.” he explains.
Mr Scale has claimed R&D tax relief on his stock and arable farm, which predominantly produces potatoes and a combination of wheat, barley and maize.
“Our R&D is centred around trying to improve soil structure, land health, skin finish and yield. We try and use different fertilisers with micronutrients, not just the standard products,” he says.
The farm is working towards organic production, but that means getting soil structure to the right place and investing in new systems. “This is why the R&D tax relief is so useful for us,” says Mr Scale.
“We were not aware of the scheme before but it has not been a difficult commitment. It took a few hours of speaking to an adviser and they did all of the heavy paperwork.”
The money claimed has been reinvested in the farm: “The cash is significant in enabling us to be more experimental with what we try. We’ve been able to update machinery and look into new methods and products.”
Why choose Farmers Weekly’s R&D tax credits service?
- Make the most of the government incentive.
- Claim cash for introducing new practices that make the farm more efficient
- Qualifying activity can include Methods that improve yields, reduce losses or pest damage, or add cost and time efficiencies.
Find out if your business is eligible at fwi.co.uk/taxcredits