The firm was formed in 1944 having taken over a portfolio of farmers from a land agent, George Spencer. Taxation of farmers and landowners changed at that time and land agents were no longer able to deal with their farmer clients’ tax affairs.
A large proportion of the clients we act for today are the descendants of our original client base and we continue to help them move assets down generations to preserve family wealth and ensure the continuity of their businesses.
Being family businesses, most farmers do not consider their affairs to be particularly difficult or sizeable, but when the value of the underlying assets is taken into account (especially given recent increases in land prices) most farming businesses are large and complicated as a result of the substantial diversification of business activities over the last decade. As a result the advice they need must be up to date and address all aspects of the transaction for all types of tax.
We see ourselves very much as a member of our client's team of professionals comprising solicitors, land agents and bankers.
Our staff turnover is very low and individual members have significant experience and knowledge of clients’ business affairs which, when coupled with our knowledge of the farming industry, gives an unparalleled service for accounting, bookkeeping, VAT etc.
For some clients we undertake quarterly bookkeeping services at their premises. This enables us to deal with queries as they arise, produce year end accounts shortly after their accounting year end and also deal with issues as and when they arise. We attend VAT control visits and are therefore on hand to deal with any queries raised by HM Revenue & Customs.
Our principals have a substantial knowledge of capital gains tax and inheritance tax and work closely with our clients’ advisers to facilitate tax structures to mitigate inheritance tax on the transfer of assets and to explore capital gains tax planning opportunities for purchase and sale of assets.