Farmland inheritance tax regulations 'could mean the end of family farms'

Family farms in Northern Ireland are under threat from changes in the inheritance tax (IHT) system which may mean informally-let farmland is liable to the tax, it has been claimed.

Belfast Today has reported that proposed legal changes could mean that IHT is paid by the many farmers across the region who let land with commercial development potential "in conacre".

PricewaterhouseCoopers told the paper it was a "shock" decision which means that farmers who would currently pay no IHT bill on their land, could now face charges of up to 40 per cent of its value.

The UK Special Commissioners of Income Tax described that land let in conacre is to be classed as "investment activity".

President of the Ulster Farmers' Union Clarke Black told Belfast Today the union was considering the implications of the decision "very, very seriously".

A 32-acre farm was the subject of the ruling which has sparked the debate.

Solicitors in Northern Ireland can give advice on IHT regulations.

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