News From The Field – An Interview With Nick Park

Nick Park, senior partner at Green & Co, was recently interviewed for the Summer 2014 edition of News From The Field. Read on to find out more…

What is your top tax tip for 2014/2015 and maybe beyond?
For growing farm businesses, the highest value tax tip is the 100% tax relief on up to £500,000 of expenditure on plant and machinery announced in the recent budget. The big question is, though, what might qualify as plant and machinery other than the obvious items like tractors and field machinery?

If you were in charge of the Treasury, what tax allowance would you introduce for the long-term benefit of UK agriculture?
I believe that the government should be encouraging UK agriculture to develop its infrastructure to support food and environmental security in this country. So I’d recommend that farm buildings are included as assets eligible for capital allowances, to
encourage farmers to invest in the future of food production in the UK.

What inspired you to get into agricultural accountancy, and if you had not followed that path, what would be your alternative dream career?
After studying Agriculture at Reading University, I returned home to run the family dairy farm and milk retailing business. Had I not dedicated my life to agricultural accountancy I would have been a professional rugby player and then retired from sport to become an internationally acclaimed painter!

How can UK farmers gain the most out of their relationship with their accountants?
The starting point should be fixed price agreements, so that they know exactly what services their accountant is providing and exactly how much it is going to cost. And your accountant must specialise in farms, so that they understand your goals and objectives and can compare them with similar farming businesses.

If you could start farming tomorrow, what sector would you go into and why?
My farm is mainly arable and grass keep. We also have an outdoor shooting range on the farm and a windmill (mentioned in the Doomsday Book), which is part of a restoration project. I was also recently approached by a company that wanted to drill for oil – let’s say I haven’t bought my Stetson just yet!

If you would like to read the article in its original print, please click here, and turn to page 4: News From The Field Summer 2014

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