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Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us, we will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

Farms and Estates Services

James Cowper Kreston is large enough to provide the wide diversity of expertise and experience demanded by rural families in the twenty first century, yet small enough to offer the personal touch with bespoke advice and integrated planning for you, your family and your farming and non farming businesses.

As you might expect, James Cowper Kreston provides an efficient annual tax and accountancy service. This includes:

  • Preparing tax returns and calculations to ensure that our clients comply with their payment and filing obligations to HM Revenue and Customs. Further information can be found here.

  • Preparing farm accounts - with meaningful analysis, accounts are an essential management tool for every business. They also help you meet your compliance obligations.

  • Audit - James Cowper Kreston is a highly respected auditor and building on our experience and expertise we audit a number of agricultural companies. Further information can be found here.

Income tax planning is a key part of what we do. Critical areas in which we can advise our clients include:

  • Timing of major purchases (such as a combine or new cattle shed) to maximise capital allowances.

  • Farmers’ averaging to smooth out the effect on tax liabilities of fluctuating profits. The rules for farmers’ averaging have recently changed. Please contact us if you have any queries.

  • Making the best use of losses to minimise tax liabilities.

Capital Gains Tax

Rollover relief has always been critical for farming clients, as has gift relief. In recent years Entrepreneurs’ Relief has also provided significant reliefs which can require tax planning more than a  year ahead of the disposal.

We are experienced in looking at structuring your investments and maximising the benefit of these critical reliefs.

Inheritance Tax planning

None of our farming clients wish their families to pay Inheritance Tax when they have passed away. Whilst it is true that there are generous reliefs available to farming and estate families, these are by no means automatic and each one has detailed conditions which need to be satisfied.  These critical reliefs for rural families are under increasing scrutiny from HM Revenue and Customs so ever greater care is required, especially as families’ tax and accounting affairs become more diversified and complex.

We ensure that you navigate these complex rules to achieve the best outcome for you and your family.

Family business structure and succession

We can advise on the best structure for your business, whether that be as a sole trader, partnership or company.


Trusts still offer significant opportunities for farmers and estate owners to protect their assets and secure tax benefits. We regularly advise rural families on their formation, use and management.

Buying and selling land

Buying and selling land can be a complex business. Whether you have been approached by a potential developer or promoter, or a neighbouring farm has become available, we can provide you with tax advice and so take you through the tax minefield.

Advice we offer can cover:

  • Capital gains tax to minimise the tax on sale

  • Inheritance tax to preserve wealth for the family

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) advice

  • VAT recovery and minimising the VAT cost

  • Tax efficient structuring and other considerations when buying and selling land.

VAT advice and processing

A particular complexity in VAT is in relation to property, and diversified farming businesses. These areas are of particular relevance to farms and estates. Our experienced team of VAT specialists guide our clients through these complexities to ensure traps are avoided and opportunities exploited to their full potential.

Payroll services

Our dedicated team in payroll is experienced in assisting farming and estate clients with just one employee or many more. Whether you need assistance with casuals, farm workers, beaters or full time staff, our payroll department can help.

Outsourcing services including book keeping and management accounts

Experienced staff in our outsourcing department can help our clients with the whole process or just the year end close. They can use your choice of software, be that Xero, Sage, Farmplan or Summit or they can advise you on what would be the most suitable user friendly software to support your farm’s business needs.