R&D tax credit claims are a big part of what we do at FCTC these days. We’ve got a team that have been making R&D claims since their introduction in 2000 and that give us great technical experience and expertise upon which successful claims are made – but that’s not all we’ve got…..

…..making successful R&D claims is all about having a broad, open, curious and investigative mind. Qualifying R&D is not always easy or obvious to spot – you’ve got to spend time understanding what the business does, you’ve got to understand the people and their skills, and you’ve got to appreciate that all too often clever people don’t realise how skilled and innovative their work truly is.

When people ask whether a particular project qualifies for R&D, we don’t set out the tax legislation as a barrier – we ask more questions in response so that only once we truly understand the project do we begin to talk about the tax issues. That way we seem to find R&D claims where some other accountants don’t – and we are comforted by the fact that HMRC routinely agree with our assessment.

When you are next talking to your clients about possible R&D here are some questions to consider:

• Have you undertaken something which was hard from a technical perspective and you weren’t quite sure of how it would turn out?
• Have you spent an extended amount of time on a particular project? If yes, why?
• Have you developed something new?
• Have you changed existing processes and products to achieve efficiencies or particular product characteristics?
• Have you had to deal with any technical issues with products or services?
• Have you experimented with new tools, new machinery or new techniques?
• Tell me about the skills, experience and qualifications of your team.

We tend to ask clients to focus on the things that they have found hard to deliver – that one question tends to lead us to R&D activity.

We’ve made a wide variety of claims in the last six months but here is a sample of some of them:

• Ecommerce business in Bath – £225k of tax rebated
• Brewery and canning business in Somerset – £30k of tax rebated
• Postal solutions business in Bristol – £30k of tax rebated
• Chemical waste business in Devon – £30k of tax rebated
• Software business in London – £150k of tax rebated
• Technology business in London – £225k of tax rebated

You can also read about one of our most interesting claims in recent years, EM Bonds, in a new case study posted to our website – http://www.fctc.co.uk/news-views/case-studies/case-study-embonds-emerging-markets-bond-exchange-ltd/

We’d be very pleased to come and talk to you about how we can help you spot more potential R&D claims. We work on a contingent fee basis like most R&D providers, but in contrast we also provide a full range of tax services and therefore we’re keen to work with you on other projects which allows us to adopt a pricing structure that is relationship based and not purely transactional.

For more information contact:

Stuart Rogers – stuart.rogers@pkf-francisclark.co.uk – 07730 220138

Katie Farley – katie.farley@pkf-francisclark.co.uk – 01803 320100

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