By Debbie James

A Welsh livestock farmer whose accountancy bill has nearly trebled since the tax reporting system was overhauled says the financial fallout of the new arrangements is crippling for family farms.

The beef and sheep producer, who farms in Ceredigion but asked for his identity to be protected, said he was speaking out to highlight the impact the changes are having on small farming businesses.

He previously paid his accountant around £1,800 a year to file his VAT and tax returns once a year but the bill he received in July had rocketed to £5,000 because those returns now need to be submitted multiple times.

“I was in shock when I received the bill, it was devastating,’’ he said. “I was so upset I couldn’t go to the Royal Welsh Show, it is not just what it means for the business this year, but for every year going forward.’’

Under the new arrangements, self-employed people and businesses must file returns every three months.

“It is a disaster and it is going to affect all farmers,’’ the farmer suggested. “We are only a small family farm, there is hardly any money in the job now.’’

The Government introduced the new system because it said errors made by the self-employed and small business meant billions of pounds in tax had gone uncollected.

Although people can file their own returns online, this process as well as the gathering of the relevant figures can be a challenge for many.

The Treasury is confident that this new approach will result in more tax being collected but this has been questioned since people might make errors when rushing to meet multiple deadlines.

“It is total madness,’’ the farmer said. “If you made this up nobody would believe you.