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HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Farming: herd basis: which rule to apply

S111-S129 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005, S109-S127 Corporation Tax Act 2009

Where an election is in force, the herd basis rules come into operation whenever an animal enters or leaves the herd. Which rule applies will depend on the particular circumstances as follows:

WHEN AN ANIMAL COMES INTO THE HERD

  • if it is part of the initial setting up of the herd, see BIM55530;
  • if it is a replacement of an animal leaving the herd, see BIM55535;
  • if it is an addition to the herd, see BIM55530;
  • if there was a substantial reduction in the size of the herd in the previous five years, see BIM55545.

WHEN AN ANIMAL IN THE HERD IS DISPOSED OF, OR DIES

  • if it is replaced by another animal, see BIM55535;

If it is not replaced, then:

  • if its disposal is part of the disposal, within a period not exceeding 12 months, of the whole herd or a substantial part of the herd, see BIM55540;
  • if its disposal is not part of the disposal of the whole herd or a substantial part of the herd, see BIM55550.

REPLACEMENT OF WHOLE HERD

Where an entire herd is disposed of, or dies, and the farmer acquires a new production herd of the same class:

  • the new animals are treated as replacements (see BIM55535) of the old animals up to the number of animals in the smaller of the two herds;
  • if the new herd is larger than the old herd, the extra animals are treated as additions (see BIM55530);
  • if the new herd is smaller than the old herd, then:

    • if the decrease in size is substantial, it is treated as the disposal of a substantial part of the old herd (see BIM55540);
    • if the decrease in size is not substantial, it is treated as a minor disposal from the herd (see BIM55550).

For guidance on what constitutes a replacement, see BIM55520, and for guidance on what constitutes a substantial reduction, see BIM55525.