14 May Case Study – Wellington Farm
Wellington Farm, located in Midlothian, is owned and managed by the Traquair family. They currently farm 350 sows, and sell pork and bacon pigs mainly through Scotlean, a farmer owned cooperative, but also through a wholesaler in Edinburgh. In 2010, they were the first commercial business to import high health F1s and Landrace Danish genetics into the UK.
Douglas Home & Co have managed the accounts and tax planning for the family for over a decade. The team helps them with day-to-day finances such as payroll management, through to complex tax planning for the future.
Company director, Victoria Ivinson, has gained a deep knowledge of the family business through the years of working together. Recently she identified an opportunity to claim Research and Development Tax Credits for their innovative pig farming practices.
Farm owner, Anna Traquair, commented, “We had never heard of R&D tax credits before Victoria mentioned them to us. She gave us a thorough explanation of how and why we qualify for this tax relief. We felt in very capable hands as she would always be available to answer any of our questions and give clear and concise answers.”
Following a comprehensive report to HMRC, Victoria successfully claimed the R&D tax credits for the farm. Victoria commented, “A large variety of agricultural work can qualify as research and development. It is not limited to one type of farming, but you must demonstrate innovative practices to be eligible. We have secured this type of tax relief for many farmers who were entirely unaware their working practices could qualify for a great tax saving.”
Over the past 5 years, Anna and the Traquair family have had several developments regarding the succession planning and development of their farm. Victoria has been by their side throughout and has ensured all tax saving opportunities have been included along the way.
Anna commented, “Succession planning can feel like a daunting process to begin with, however having Victoria by our side made it significantly easier. She had a balanced view of our circumstances, looking at my husband’s parents’ individual situations as well. Victoria removed herself from the personal element and took a truly professional stance. She was very pragmatic and proposed a variety of solutions for us to choose the route that suited us best. Now that we have been through succession planning once with the older generation, we now have the confidence to create a plan which involves our own children.”
Victoria added, “Succession planning is never finished, it requires constant review and editing as the next generation decide whether they want to be part of the business or not. By grasping the nettle and planning in advance, it ensures all family members have had their views taken into consideration and they will have peace of mind knowing what will happen with the farm in the future.”
Anna concluded, “All of the DHCO staff are extremely helpful, and you can get an answer very quickly to any query you may have. Recently we had to navigate the change of regulation regarding importing from Europe due to Brexit, and as always the team were to hand with clear explanations and guidance. We highly recommend Douglas Home & Co as their service hasn’t wavered during our long working relationship.”