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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Agricultural purposes: Set-aside scheme

‘Set-aside’ was a scheme designed to reduce the production of arable crops. It was introduced in 1988. Farmers in the scheme agreed to set-aside (that is to stop using for any kind of agricultural production) a percentage (originally at least 20%) of the land they had been using for growing agricultural crops. In return they received annual compensation payments.

While the scheme was in operation we accepted that arable land set-aside to permanent or rotational fallow was both

  • agricultural property (IHTM24030) within the meaning of sIHTA84/S115 (2), and
  • occupied for the purposes of agriculture within the meaning of IHTA84/S117 during the period of the set-aside agreement relating to that land. It did not apply to land set-aside for any other purpose.

The Set-aside Scheme was abolished following EU agreement in November 2008 as part of its Common Agricultural Policy ‘health check’. If you have a historic case where the availability of agricultural relief relies on the application of the Set-aside Scheme, seek advice from Technical.