The Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging farmers to get to grips with the ‘Making tax digital’ scheme, which will come into forces in April next year and see millions of businesses and self-employed people having to file multiple tax returns each year.
In order to help those VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold, the Denbigh and Flint branch of the Union has organised a special information evening with Wittingham Riddell accountants.
The events, which start at 7.30pm, are held on Wednesday, 5 December at Denbigh Golf Club, Henllan Road, Denbigh LL16 5AA and Monday, 10 December at Lord Moreton, Chirk, St Martin's, Wrexham LL14 5DG.
FUW Denbigh and Flint CEO Mari Dafydd Jones said: “There are many farm businesses who from April next year will be required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns. Businesses will no longer be able to submit paper tax returns.
“To help them better understand what is required of them and what tools are available to comply with the new way of submitting your tax return, we have teamed up with the accountants at Wittingham Riddell, who will explain how ‘Making Tax Digital’ will affect you, what benefits ‘Cloud Packages’ offer and they will also give a live demonstration of Xero and QuickBooks. These information evenings are free and open to all - so please don’t miss your chance to get to grips with the new requirements.”
The Farmers’ Union of Wales is looking forward to a busy Royal Welsh Winter Fair (Monday 26 - Tuesday 27 November) with plenty of #FarmingMatters chats and a warm welcome to the Union’s stand guaranteed.
Those visiting the FUW stand, which is located next to the main show ring, can enter the annual Christmas hamper competition by filling in a short quarantine unit survey, and staff are on hand to discuss the Union’s response to the Welsh Government ‘Brexit and our Land’ consultation response.
FUW officials will also be on hand to chat about the recently launched FUW-NFU Cymru joint principles paper ‘A Welsh way forward’, aimed at placing Welsh food, farming, livelihoods, communities and our environment on a firm post-Brexit footing.
Speaking ahead of the event, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Time has flown by and I can hardly believe that the Winter Fair is just around the corner again.
“This fantastic event should help get everyone in the festive spirit and I look forward to catching up with many of you at the FUW stand over a cup of tea and mince pie.
“Our staff and officials are on hand to discuss any questions you may have about #FarmingMatters, including Bovine TB rules, the recently launched industry sheep scab paper, diversification and quarantine units and a warm welcome is guaranteed to all.”
The Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging shoppers to keep their Christmas shopping local to show support for rural and local businesses.
FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “As we speed towards Christmas, I would like to urge you to think about your rural businesses and see if you can buy local, either for the upcoming Christmas dinner or even gifts for family and friends.
“Speak to your local butcher about meat for the Christmas period and see what your local farm shop has to offer - I promise you will find many of the ingredients you need for your Christmas dinner right on your doorstep.
“There are also plenty of small shops around that offer Welsh craft and locally designed gifts and of course the choice for local food gifts is aplenty. It really is worth having a look. These are small decisions we can make that will have a big impact on our rural economy.
“A pound spent locally will go much further than a pound spent in a chain store and it keeps our rural economies going. By supporting our local businesses we don’t help a CEO buy a third holiday home but we help a local mum and dad put food on the table, a family pay their mortgage, a little girl get those dance lessons and a little boy get his favourite team shirt.”
Those farmers who have submitted an application for BPS 2018 via the Single Application Form (SAF) 2018 are being reminded by the Farmers’ Union of Wales, that time to apply for a BPS Loan is running out, with the application window closing on Friday, 30 November.
The BPS loan facility has been put in place to help farmers who may not receive their 2018 BPS payment when the payment window opens on 1 December. As this is an opt in scheme, farmers have to apply for the loan through their RPW Online account.
FUW Pembrokeshire CEO Rebecca Voyle said: “It is expected that the loan payments will be made during the week starting 10 December 2018 and all BPS loan payments will be made direct to farmers bank accounts.
“The loan value paid to farmers will be a maximum of 70% of their estimated 2018 BPS payment, which will be based on the area declared for BPS on the SAF 2018 and the number of payment entitlements held on 15 May 2018.
“I would like to urge all eligible farmers to consider making an application before the deadline as there will be no further opportunity to apply for a BPS loan after the 30 November.”
FUW President Glyn Roberts: “The FUW has been consistent in its view that the best way to minimise disruption and economic damage to agriculture and other industries is to remain within the Common Market and the Customs Union after leaving the EU.
“Anything that falls short of that will bring with it obstacles in terms of trade and other issues, with inevitable consequences for our industry and economy.
“The draft withdrawal agreement may be a step in the right direction away from the abyss, but until we have been given the opportunity to study the text of the draft agreement it will be impossible to tell whether that step is significant enough to mitigate any of the extreme risks faced by our industry and others.”
Plans to introduce pan-Wales legislation to tackle pollution incidents raises major questions about Welsh Government commitments to work in partnership with other bodies to tackle agricultural pollution, the Farmers’ Union of Wales has said.
Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths announced the plans in a written statement on November 14 - but has yet to respond to a 114 page report containing 45 recommendations aimed at tackling agricultural pollution written by industry and government bodies, and which was submitted to her more than six months ago.
FUW Land Use and Parliamentary Committee Chairman Tudur Parry said: “Taking all farms into account, pollution incidents involve less than 1% of the farms in Wales, and the farming industry is fully committed to bringing this figure down given its impact.
“With a view to doing this, the FUW and a number of other bodies, including Natural Resources Wales, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Carmarthenshire Fishermen’s Federation and the Welsh Government themselves, compiled a detailed report in April highlighting actions that should be taken to address such incidents.”