Partnership pitfalls under spotlight

THE potential benefits ? and pitfalls ? of different types of farming partnership agreements were highlighted at an event attended by more than 120 land agents, chartered surveyors, bankers, landowners and farmers from across East Anglia.

The event, entitled “Farming Partnerships – is yours a tool or a timebomb?” and held at Ravenwood Hall, at Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, was organised by chartered accountants Ensors and commercial law firm Howes Percival.

It was designed to give delegates a practical understanding of the different types of partnership agreements, together with advice on how to maximise any tax allowances/benefits.

Jeremy Heal, head of estates at Howes Percival, said: “With the soaring price of farmland the figures are large, and there is an ever greater risk of an unexpected tax bill or a family feud unless the partners have recently read – and really understood – the partnership agreement.”

Graham Page, partner and head of the agricultural team at Ensors, added: “Investment in farming businesses and agricultural property is quite often seen as a secure tax haven.

“Experience tells us, however, that many are not fully aware of how the structure of their business can dramatically affect the capital tax reliefs that may be available.”