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Act now to prepare for the Basic Payment Scheme

Tue 17 February 2015

The latest reports from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) indicate only 22,500 of an expected 100,000 farmers have registered online for the new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

Matt Brown of Stags Truro office says ‘It is vital that farmers register soon. We are seeing delays in the roll out of the BPS computer system, and with time likely to be tight to submit claims, farmers should be prepared.’

Matt continues, ‘The claim window is not forecast to open until April, leaving little time to ensure compliance with greening and to submit claims before the 15th May’.

This will also be an important year for trading entitlements. All trading will be done online, and both parties must be registered to do this. This year there is the added risk that if a transfer is rejected through error, the entitlements will be lost for good rather than bounce back to the transferor.

Stags are seeing a number of claimants who have unwritten grazing agreements and tenancies. Not having written documentation provides the potential for the RPA to challenge who should be claiming the Basic Payment. Ensuring agreements are correct will greatly reduce the risk of fines.

Jo Maynard of Stags Launceston office highlights some of the other important issues surrounding the BPS. ‘The new scheme will undoubtedly provide challenges for some farmers, but it does also provide opportunities. Whilst there is uncertainty over the retention of entitlements associated with land compulsorily purchased or used by utility companies, there is also the ability to claim a Young Farmer Top Up, and for applications to the National Reserve.’

‘There have also been changes to the rules for land with solar panels and woodland, and farmers should not rely on receiving their payments in December.’

Stags experienced team are well placed to advise clients on all aspects of the BPS and associated issues. We are holding a number of free BPS registration sessions throughout the South West. For more information and to book your place please call our Professional Services team on 01392 439046 or email professional@stags.co.uk 

Drop in session dates are as follows:

Launceston | Monday 23rd February

Holsworthy | Tuesday 24th February

Truro | Thursday 26th February

Tiverton | Monday 2nd March

Yeovil | Tuesday 3rd March

South Molton | Wednesday 4th March

Totnes | Thursday 5th March

Honiton | Thursday 5th March

Exeter | Monday 9th March

Wellington | Tuesday 10th March

Click here for further details>

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