Still time to submit BPS forms, but beware of penalties

With more than 85,500 applications submitted on time for the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is reminding anyone yet to apply that they can still do so until midnight on June 10.

Claims submitted during the penalty period after the May 16 deadline will incur a one per cent penalty for each working day they are late so getting them in quickly is important.

Farmers who applied on time can still make certain amendments until midnight on May 31 without being penalised. Some changes can still be made after this date, but may be liable to a penalty.

If a farmer applies later, but before May 31, they will be penalised for the late application. However, they can then amend their application up to May 31 without being further penalised.

Chief Executive of the RPA Mark Grimshaw said: “I am pleased that over 85,500 applications were received ahead of the May 16 deadline, with such a high proportion, three out of four claims, submitted online, including a number who switched from paper to online.

“The Rural Payments Service worked well and continues to do so to enable farmers to make their applications on time and to make certain changes without penalty until May 31.

“I would urge anyone yet to make their application for 2016 to do so as soon as possible before June 10 so they don’t miss out.”

Farmers continue get assistance at five online support centres or via the Rural Services Helpline on 0300 020 0301, open weekdays between 8.30am and 5pm, and advice and guidance available on www.gov.uk