BPS blog: Remember those supporting documents...

_43112NFU adviser Anna Logan helps BPS applicants get their paperwork in order, focusing on supporting documentation and evidence and problems with the Young Farmer Scheme last year. She writes:

As we approach the last month before the BPS 2017 deadline (15 May 2017), it’s worth double-checking whether you need to submit any supporting documents to accompany your application and to make a start at getting these together.

Such documents could be:

  • Organic certificate and parcel schedules if you are relying on the organic exemption for greening
  • Young or new farmer form signed by an accountant or solicitor, if you are applying for the young farmer payment or entitlements from the national reserve
  • BP5 continuation booklet if you have extra land which isn’t showing online
  • Accountant certificate to confirm Active farmer status if applicable
  • Hemp seed labels if hemp is being grown
  • RLE 1 form and maps if you need to notify RPA of any mapping changes etc.

Remember that these supporting documents form part of your application, therefore they must arrive at the RPA by 15 May 2017 to avoid penalty. These documents still cannot be emailed to the RPA, so you are reliant on Royal Mail or hand delivery. There are only six drop-in centres available this year, which are the main RPA offices – Reading, Exeter, York, Newcastle, Workington and Carlisle.  You can find the addresses here.

Problems with the Young Farmer Scheme last year...

We are aware that in 2016 some young farmers have missed out on the young farmer payment, as it seems some may have misread the guidance and did not resubmit their evidence from 2015.

To receive the payment, you need to apply each year.

If you complete the online application, you do this at the ‘make changes to your application’ section, or, if you are completing a paper application, you do this at Part G. If you successfully applied for the young farmer payment in 2015 or 2016, and there has been no changes to the farm business structure since your application, you can send the RPA a fully completed Young and New Farmer Form including the accountant or solicitor’s certificate at the end, or both of the following:

  • The same accountant or solicitor’s certificate to the RPA that you provided for your 2015 or 2016 application
  • A letter confirming that there have been no farm business structure changes since the last application

We have sought further guidance from the RPA, and the letter mentioned above should be signed by someone who has ‘BPS submit permissions'. However the RPA would also accept letters signed by the accountant or the solicitor. The letter should confirm that no changes to the business structure have taken place since the accountant or solicitor’s certificate was completed. Therefore if you submitted a certificate in 2015, you should include a letter with your 2017 application confirming that no changes to the business structure have taken place since the completion of that certificate in 2015.  

It is key to read the guidance, which can be found here.

As always, please call NFU Callfirst on 0370 8458458 if you are uncertain of what you need to do.

Last edited on: 04:04:2017

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