English wine producers celebrate tax victory

English wine producers celebrate tax victory

The UK Government has confirmed that vineyards are included in new proposals to allow farmers to average their income tax over five years.

The measure, announced in March’s budget, extends from two to five years the period over which farmers are able to average their income tax. For those planting vines for wine production this means that they will be able to account for the unproductive period when vines are becoming established.

The chair of the All Party Parliamentary Wine and Spirit Group, Tim Loughton MP 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."

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association added: "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, who owns the Rathfinny Estate vineyard in Sussex said planting vineyards requires a "significant capital outlay" as well as "effectively taking profitable agricultural land out of production" while 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," added Driver.

Last year, another English wine producer, Chapel Down, raised in the region of GBP3m in a crowd-funding effort.