Farm succession the focus at Borders Monitor farm meeting

Farm succession will come into focus at the next meeting of the Borders Monitor farm, where the importance of planning ahead will be emphasised.

The Auld Cross Keys Hotel in Denholm will host the meeting, which begins at 10:00am, November 7.

Among the items up for discussion will be the reasons why farmers so often avoid planning for succession, and what questions they should be asking themselves.

The session will be run by Heather Wildman, from advice agency Saviour Associates, who says that every farm is different, and a succession plan tailored to each farm’s specific situation is important.

“Succession planning is seen by many as a sensitive subject and farmers are reluctant to start the process in case it causes conflict amongst their family members,” she said.

“By the end of the meeting I hope that attendees will understand how the process works and be able to create an action plan for the succession of their own businesses as well as equip themselves to implement these future plans,” added Heather.

Farmers are also incredibly busy people so it can be difficult to find the time to consider long term succession planning. However, it makes sense to have a plan in place well in advance to help secure the success of your business for the next generation.

Another important part of the discussion is the tax implications, and Nick Heaney from Armstrong Watson Accountants will be at the meeting to talk about the Government’s new ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD) initiative.

“The MTD initiative is the Government’s plan to digitise the tax system and will see one of the biggest changes to VAT in decades,” said Mr Heaney, adding: “From April 1, 2019, VAT-registered businesses above the threshold of £85,000 will have to keep digital records and submit VAT returns using compatible software.”

Mr Heaney will highlight how farmers can ensure they comply with this new initiative, and where to go for advice.