Following the recent announcement that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is to recruit 100 extra inspectors to broaden the scope of its Affluent Compliance Unit, Susie Swift, partner in accountancy firm Saffery Champness says more farmers and land-owners will now be "on its radar".

Previously the unit's operations were limited to tax-payers with an annual income in excess of £150,000 and wealth of between £2.5 million and £20m, but will now be broadened to cover taxpayers with wealth of more than £1m.

Ms Swift said: "The unit is quoted as having an ambitious target to deliver an additional £586m in tax by the end of 2015. Since its formation in 2010 it reports bringing in an additional £75m in tax, so on that basis will have its work cut out."

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According to Ms Swift, the best way for those farmers and landowners that fall into this bracket to avoid raising any suspicion is to be absolutely sure that all their tax affairs are in order, their returns submitted on time, and professional advice sought over any potential areas of contention or concern.


ABERDEEN & Northern Marts sold 11 lots of single farm payment entitlements out of the 13 lots forward at the Thainstone Centre on Friday.

The 264.53 units sold produced an average multiplier rate of 1.8, using the standard euro conversion rate of 0.79805.

The top multiplier was 2.2 for a lot of 0.95 units with a euro value of 692.59, which sold for the sale's leading price of £1240 per unit.

A lot of 5.33 units valued at €735.46 sold for £1220 per unit, or a multiplier of 2.1.

Two other lots also sold for a multiplier of 2.1 – the first was a lot of 41.75 units valued at €51.73, which sold for £88 per unit and the second, a lot of 16.42 units valued at €372.43 that went for £630 per unit.

Wallets Marts had 314 store cattle forward in Castle Douglas yesterday when bullocks sold to £1390 per head and 235.9p per kg to average £853.19 and 208.6p, while heifers peaked at £960 and 208p to level at £712.10 and 187.6p.

In the rough ring, 62 beef cows averaged 126.9p and four beef levelled at 138.1p. Four OTM heifers averaged 184.3p and two OTM steers levelled at 182.1p.

John Swan sold 41 prime bullocks in St Boswells yesterday to a top of 242p and an average of 212p (no change on the week), while 50 prime heifers peaked at 241p and levelled at 219.4p (+4.2p). In the rough ring, 67 beef-type OTM cattle averaged 141.9p (+3.8p).

The firm also sold 1971 prime hoggs to average 151.1p per kg (-6.2p), while 504 cast sheep levelled at £44.15 per head.