Case Study – Selcoth Fisheries
July 13, 2023

Case Study – Selcoth Fisheries

Selcoth Fisheries is a family-run business located in the Moffat Valley. The Routledge family has fully embraced farm diversification, and business streams include sheep farming, forestry, renewable energy sources such as a hydro scheme, and the highly successful Selcoth Fisheries. They grow rainbow trout from eggs for both the table and re-stocking.

Father and son Peter and Olly Routledge have worked with EQ (formerly Douglas Home & Co) for decades. Victoria Ivinson at EQ Accountants manages their accountancy, tax compliance, bookkeeping, and VAT returns and offers business advisory advice for specific projects.

In particular, Victoria recognised that Selcoth Fisheries qualified for Research and Development tax credits due to the industry-leading research that Olly was undertaking. After discussing the R&D work carried out by the business, Victoria identified an area that was a definite attempt at solving a longstanding sector problem. Once she clearly explained the opportunity to Olly, Victoria took the time to educate herself about the intricate science of the project. This allowed her to file a comprehensive return to HMRC resulting in a significant tax rebate which could be claimed for up to 4 years’ worth of work. Without having a deep understanding of the client’s business, this tax opportunity could have gone unnoticed.

Olly commented, “I hadn’t heard of R&D tax credits before Victoria mentioned them to me. As we have worked with EQ for so long and they take a genuine interest in learning about our business, this allowed her to identify the opportunity. We found the process really straightforward; Victoria clearly explained why we qualified and took it all in hand to ensure our claim was successful. We have invested a lot of time and money in researching a particular challenge that affects the whole aquaculture industry. These tax credits were a great incentive to push us on to try to develop a solution which could have a long-standing impact throughout the fish farming sector”.

Peter and Olly have also leaned on the EQ team for Succession Planning advice. Peter was looking to retire and hand the business reins and family farm over to Olly in 2010. The family were searching for a solution to ensure Peter could step away with a comfortable retirement fund without separating parts of the business.

Olly commented, “The EQ team was very impartial during the succession planning process. They reviewed everyone’s circumstances and came up with a solution that we were all happy with. I am now starting to plan my own succession much earlier than I would have had we not gone through the planning process with EQ. It gives me great peace of mind that plans are in place to ensure financial security for my two young children when they grow up, whether they want to be involved in the farm or not”.

When planning for succession, the EQ team considers tax implications for many years into the future. This is because considering one specific tax can have implications in other areas. By undertaking an ‘All Taxes Review’, they can ensure that all aspects are covered and reviewed annually to ensure the client is in the best possible position to hand the business onto the next generation.

Olly concluded, “I cannot recommend EQ highly enough. Our family believe their advice is on par with the leading accountancy and tax firms throughout the UK while also delivering a personal and friendly service. We have always had direct contact with a director which has allowed us to build a long-standing relationship with the company. They take the time to get to know our business inside out and provide proactive advice to aid our business development”.