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Polytunnel Progress Could Put Pounds in Pockets

NFU Scotland is working to resolve a complicated tax issue which has seen many soft fruit growers in Scotland being told by HMRC that their polytunnels should be classed as a fixed structure meaning that expenditure on them would not qualify for plant and machinery allowances.

NFU Scotland’s Policy Director, Scott Walker, who has represented the Union in talks with HMRC said:

“It is fair to say that this is a highly technical subject, however, it is a big issue for our soft fruit growers and is a good example of the kind of quiet, detailed work that NFUS undertakes on behalf of its members, albeit somewhat below the radar.

“As we explored this issue it was clear that Scotland had been singled out first by HMRC but that soon all growers across the UK will find that polytunnels do not qualify for plant and machinery allowances.

“Polytunnels extend the growing season for strawberry production, protecting crops from the elements and provide a suitable picking environment in poor weather.   In addition, polytunnels have improved crop quality without which it would be impossible for us to supply the supermarkets.

“It is clear to us that polytunnels function as plant in a grower's business.   We have challenged HMRC’s technical specialists’ advice that polytunnels be treated as fixed structures.   We have provided HMRC with details on how polytunnels are used in Scotland to support the case that they need to change their interpretation and allow them to qualify for plant and machinery allowances.

“Discussions are ongoing and we will be meeting HMRC again in the New Year.”

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth/Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4006/4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 175/10


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