‘Butler’s Equine Tax Planning: 3rd Edition’ by Julie Butler


Paperback: 978-1-914608-00-1
Published: July 2021
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Butler’s Equine Tax Planning: Third Edition examines all the important tax issues relating to equestrian matters. It is a must read for all those involved in this complex industry, looking at its various different areas together with a consideration of tax planning around a large number of changes and protection against tax pitfalls. Equine Tax Planning understands the vast range of equestrian industries, from stud farms, competition yards and liveries to individuals at the top of their game in polo, eventing, dressage and racing. All these have very different tax treatments and here these are explained and examined in light of recent tax legislation and decisions resulting from a number of tax tribunals over the last few years, e.g. Cliff and Vigne.

One important issue for all equine businesses is the tax efficiency of losses. Understanding how tax relief for these tax losses can be maximised against other income is key. Other important areas that require tax planning are often less obvious. For example, a lot of equestrian enterprises stem from farm diversification and the alternative use of land, which has a complex set of tax rules in itself. There are also tax implications associated with the development opportunities of equestrian property which may arise with the Government’s continued drive to ensure there are more houses in the UK, and this edition focuses on how to maximise any tax planning opportunities available.

Since the second edition the industry has had to cope with COVID, Brexit and lockdown. The farming world has also been in turmoil with subsidy changes, a move towards farming for the environment and the Agriculture Act 2020 which has impacted on the equine world, especially stud farms. There have also been a number of tribunals on the mixed rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax. All the changes have put a large focus on the pony paddock and the “happy hacker” with increases in horse prices and the value of equestrian properties staying strong.

This book captures the passion and enthusiasm for the industry and the advantages and opportunities that accompany it whilst embracing all the tax efficiencies and highlighting tax problems at an early stage.


After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1980, Julie founded Butler & Co in 1986. She is a farm and equine tax specialist and together with her team provides consultancy services to other accountants, land agents and solicitors on all areas of the equine world, farm diversification and bloodstock. She is also the author of ‘Tax Planning for Farm and Land Diversification’ as well as co-author of ‘Stanley: Taxation of Farmers and Landowners’. In 2017 she became the editor of Farm Tax Brief and her articles are published regularly in the national accountancy and tax press. She lectures to a large variety of audiences through various organisations and to the rural community direct on a range of equine and farming issues. She has a lot of practical equine experience including riding a winner of a Point-to-Point race when she was in her early forties.


Chapter One – Growth of the Equestrian Industry
Chapter Two – Taxation and the Equine Industry
Chapter Three – HMRC Attack on the Non-Commercial Equine Business
Chapter Four – Owning a Horse – Tax Planning
Chapter Five – Planning for Equine Vat
Chapter Six – Tax Planning for the Breeder and the Stallion Owner
Chapter Seven – Tax Planning for Stud Farms
Chapter Eight – Planning for Equine Tax Losses
Chapter Nine – the Equestrian Landlord – Legal Aspects by Mark Charter