Just An Average Farmer

iStock_000014425346_Small.jpgPrior to 6 April 2016 farmers were only able to average profits over 2 consecutive tax years. From 6 April, farmers will have a choice of averaging over 2 years or 5 years.

The introduction of this 5 year average period will be of great benefit to farmers whose profits can fluctuate considerably over a number of years. The two year average option would have been little help to a farmer who had had 3 good years where higher rate tax had been incurred, followed by 2 bad years.

Example – 2 year averaging claim

Tax Year 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Profits 60,000 60,000 60,000 10,000 10,000
Averaging Claim 14/15, 15/16 35,000 35,000
Averaging Claim 15/16, 16/17 22,500 22,500
Total Taxable Profits after all averaging claims 60,000 60,000 35,000 22,500 22,500


If a 5 year averaging claim is applied the assessable profits become:

Tax Year 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
  40,000 40,000 40,000 40,000 40,000

Depending on other income this 5 year claim has removed the liability to higher rate tax which would save about £12,000.


The ability to choose whether to average over 2 or 5 years gives scope for the farmer to plan the timing of capital expenditure if approaching the end of the fifth qualifying year. It may also be possible to utilise personal allowances which may otherwise be wasted.

The first opportunity to utilise the 5 year averaging rules will be in the  year ended 5 April 2017. Profits muse be reviewed before the year end to ensure any planning opportunities can be under taken.

For more information contact Green & Co.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s