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UK vineyards will be included in scheme to spread tax load for agriculture

Published:  03 July, 2015

The government has confirmed that a scheme allowing farmers to average their profits for income tax purposes over five years will apply to vineyards.

The proposal was outlined by George Osborne in his March budget - extending the scope of an existing two-year rule - but it was unclear at the time whether vineyards would be included.

The Wine & Spirirt Trade Association said the new ruling would encourage investment in the English wine sector by allowing vineyards to account for the unproductive periods when new vines are coming on stream.

Chief executive Miles Beale added: "This is a major boost for the English wine sector.

"Supporting growers that face significant ups and downs will help to ensure the health of vineyards across the UK.

"We will now be making sure that all eligible vineyards are aware of the benefits of this scheme."

Mark Driver, owner of Rathfinny Estate in East Sussex, added: "Planting vines requires a significant capital outlay as well as effectively taking profitable agricultural land out of production while the vines become established.

"By allowing vineyards to average their income tax out over a number of years, it will really help to offset those tough years with the good ones and ensure that vineyards can plan for the long term".

Tim Loughton MP, who asked for clarification from the government in a Commons question, said: "This is a real boost for this blossoming great British industry which is now taking on some of the best established wines across the world."