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VAT changes could hit farm businesses

Accountancy Saffery Champness is advising farms that provide accommodation services or catering to be aware VAT changes could hit farm businesses from 1st October.

VAT changes could hit farm businesses

In the 2021 Budget, the Chancellor advised that the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT would be extended to September 2021, but that this would be replaced by a new rate of 12.5% that will remain in place until the 31st March 2022.

Accountancy firm Saffery Champness have warned that the changes could hit farm businesses. Farmers who have diversified their land can expect changes to their VAT as areas set to be affected include;

  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages sold for on-premises consumption, for example in restaurants and cafés.
  • Hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Sleeping accommodation, holiday accommodation, pitch fees for caravans and tents.
  • Admission to certain visitor attractions and events.

Nick Hart, VAT Director, and a member of Saffery Champness Landed Estates and Rural Business Group, says:“We know that many farm businesses have diversified particularly into offering tourist accommodation such as camping pitches and glamping in order to take advantage of the rise in numbers of those taking holidays in the UK. They will have benefited from the 5% VAT rate but should now be looking ahead to that increasing to 12.5% from the 1st of October.

“The main holiday season will have passed by that time but for those that remain open then planning ahead is vital. The collection of advance payments and deposits ahead of the rate changes on 1st October 2021 and 1st April 2022 (when the rate is due to revert back to 20%) could provide VAT savings.”

The firm have highlighted that when there is a change in VAT rates, businesses need to consider the impact this can have on their VAT accounting. This is especially true with regards to vouchers and advance payments (including deposits).

And advice that if advanced payments (including deposits) are taken between 1st October 2021 and 31st March 2022, those payments will be subject to 12.5% VAT even if the accommodation for example is being booked for a period after 31st March 2022.

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