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HMRC internal manual

VAT Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme

HM Revenue & Customs
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Death, insolvency and incapacity

1. Treatment of person carrying on the business

If the flat rate farmer dies, becomes bankrupt (or in the case of a company goes into liquidation, receivership or an administration order is made) or becomes incapacitated, the VAT Regulations 1995, regulation 207 allows us to treat any person who carries on the business on their behalf as the certificate holder. This applies from the date the farmer dies or becomes insolvent or incapacitated, until another person is granted a new certificate for the farming business, or the incapacity ceases.

2. Notifying Grimsby Registration Unit

The person carrying on the business should notify (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) in writing within 30 days of taking over. The notification should include the date of the farmer’s death or details of the farmer’s incapacity or insolvency, and the date it began.

3. Cancellation of a certificate

The Commissioners have the power to cancel a certificate in any case where the farmer dies, becomes insolvent or becomes incapacitated. However, as a farmer may continue to trade after becoming insolvent, we recommend that you only compulsorily cancel a certificate in cases where you are satisfied that the farmer has actually ceased to engage in designated activities. This may be the relevant date of insolvency, or earlier.

4. Revenue risks

If there is evidence of a revenue risk resulting from a farmer’s death, insolvency or incapacity, you may think compulsory cancellation may be appropriate. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) should be advised of any such cases.