FARMERS and other family members from all parts of Northern Ireland have been turning out in very large numbers for the ongoing series of Tax and Succession Planning Seminars.
The meetings have been arranged jointly between CAFRE and Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership. They consist of presentations from a range of speakers – namely CAFRE, CARP (in particular highlighting the Farm Family Options Mentoring Programme) and an accountant.
A CAFRE business technologist on the night discusses the range of business courses that they have available for farmers. This includes the CAFRE benchmarking programme which has been endorsed by the accountants and mentors as a way of measuring your business performance against similar farms. Such has been the success of this programme over the last couple of months 60 new farmers have signed up to participate on beef and sheep benchmarking.
The accountant discusses the growing importance for farm businesses to keep accurate accounts and to prioritise record keeping. Important issues such as, personal and capital allowances, inheritance tax, conacre and the need for succession planning are also covered.
The Q&A session which follows, allows the accountant to highlight the key areas which farmers should address with their own accountant, on a regular basis.
The Farm Family Options Mentoring Programme is co-ordinated by Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership, a division of Countryside Services Ltd.
The CARP Farm Business Mentor explains how mentoring and succession planning can help individual farm businesses plan for the future. This can take account of further developing the enterprises already there, while at the same time looking at diversification/off farm income opportunities. Having a long term plan is essential. The Mentoring Programme also provides £250 of support per business to facilitate the professional input of a solicitor or an accountant.
The take home message from the mentor’s presentation is develop a plan and make a will.
Over 1,400 farm families have applied for Farm Business Mentoring support. This extremely worthwhile initiative is funded courtesy of the current Rural Development Programme.
For further information telephone CAFRE on 028 9442 6770 or Farm Family Options Mentoring on 0845 026 7539.