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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Share farming and contract farming agreements: Introduction

Both share farming and contract farming developed in UK in the 1980s as a response to landowners wanting to have an arrangement that did not amount to a tenancy under the Agricultural Holdings Act legislation. While, for simplicity, this guidance uses the word landowner, agricultural tenants also use these arrangements as a means to involve other farmers’ skills or equipment without creating a sub-tenancy in breach of standard tenancy agreements. Forms of both share farming and contract farming had been widely used for many years in Australasia and the United States. While the terms may often be used loosely in practice, it is useful to distinguish between them as they describe models in which the underlying relationships and their consequences are different.