Rural services

In 2018, Gross Value Added (‘GVA’) from Predominantly Rural areas contributed 15.9 per cent of England’s GVA, and was worth an estimated £261 billion.
Source: DEFRA

The Rural sector plays a vital role to the UK’s economy, from the provision of food and drink, maintaining the environment through to meeting employment needs in rural locations. RSM’s Rural sector experts understand the challenges faced by rural businesses and families, and are able to provide tailored and flexible solutions. 

‘Recent and future uncertainty has led many rural businesses to reflect on their future. Whether that is to diversify the business or estate, to consider bringing forward family succession or to seek strategic disposals.’

What’s happening in the sector?

  • Changing capital and inheritance tax rules affecting rural businesses.
  • Purchasers looking to acquire land to rollover capital gains.
  • Land owners selling land for development.
  • Opportunities to maximise capital allowances on building projects to minimise tax liabilities.
  • Generational shifts – family changes and new entrants to the sector.
  • Diversification – entering new markets to protect the wider rural business.
  • The Agriculture Bill and Brexit.

What are we commonly advising on?

  • Capital gains tax implications of land and property transactions – rollover, holdover and entrepreneurs relief.
  • Inheritance tax implications of generational changes – business structure, transfers of assets and use of trusts.
  • VAT – partial exemption, property transactions.
  • Diversification – business structure, forecasting, strategic planning, links to key sectors e.g. manufacturing, real estate, leisure and hospitality, energy and natural resources.
  • Maximising tax reliefs – e.g. capital vs revenue, Business Property Relief, Agricultural Property Relief, entrepreneurs Relief.
  • Capital allowances on agricultural buildings, utilising RSM’s capital allowances team and qualified surveyors.
  • International aspects – tax advice around residency and the use of trusts. 
  • Bloodstock and equestrian.

How can rural businesses improve performance?

RSM advises on a wide range of solutions to drive business performance and efficiency:

  • Engagement of family and future generations.
  • Use of technology in processes – robotics, drones, automation, blockchain.
  • Use of technology in administration – links between accounting and input/stock management systems, availability and use of information.
  • Streamlined administrative functions – payroll, HR, cloud accounting.
  • Ownership of finance function – management accounts, forecasts.
  • Robust internal governance – board meetings and strategic planning.

Managing your compliance needs

Rural businesses face a unique set of challenges when reporting to HMRC, Companies House and other regulatory bodies. We can assist you by:

  • Providing experienced and specialist advice around year end accounting and tax returns.
  • Trustee services, anniversary planning, trust registration, IHT planning.
  • VAT reporting to HMRC.
  • Navigating the changing requirements of Making Tax Digital (MTD).
  • Tax investigations – personal, business, VAT, payroll.
  • Specialist services e.g. forestry/woodland, heritage assets, herd basis, sporting activities, contract farming.
Why RSM?
A dedicated team
A dedicated team that understands you and works as an extension of your in-house team  
Sector expertise
Sector expertise and contacts combined with a tailored service
Full spectrum of specialist advice
Full range of specialist advice and access to RSM’s deep and broad specialist teams
UK and global capability
UK and global capability to match your personal and businesses current and future needs
Flexible service
Flexible service to meet your needs

What do our clients say?

We really value our close working relationship with RSM. RSM has invested in understanding our business and family, and their rural specialists have both the sector and technical knowledge to help us make decisions. The team at RSM are in regular contact, communicating proactively with new ideas, and promptly to our requests.

Mr Mitcham – Mitcham Group


Contact our team today to discuss how we can help your rural business succeed.