The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has made new forms available for businesses that hold Single Farm Payment (SFP) entitlements and need to make a change to the business.
The forms have been drawn up to deal with circumstances when a change to an existing business impacts on the value of the SFP entitlements held which is being used as the starting point for the calculation of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements in 2015. For example, inheritance of a business or where there has been a merger or scission (split) between the 16 May 2014 and 15 May 2015.
There will be no trading of entitlements until 2016 scheme year. If a business has been inherited since 15 May 2014, or there has been a merger or scission to the farm business, the businesses involved will need to complete the appropriate forms to request a transfer of the value of the entitlements. If approved, the value of SFP entitlements held on 15 May 2014 will move between the relevant businesses according to the business change.
It is important that your business structure represents the reality on the ground, particularly as regards the active farmer provisions which will apply in 2015. It is highly unlikely that a business which rents out all of its land to another family member will meet the criteria to be allocated BPS entitlements in 2015. A business merger may need to be considered.
The acceptance of a business change does not imply that the business is eligible or will receive a payment under the new BPS or any other scheme.
Forms and supporting information are available from DARD Grants and Funding on 0300 200 7848 or from local DARD offices. Forms are also available on the DARD website at: http://www.dardni.gov.uk/sfp-forms