Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

5 Steps In Making A Successful R&D Tax Claim

The UK government has outlined its commitment to spending 2.4% of national wealth on R&D by 2027 - and what better time to see if your company is eligible for R&D Tax Credits.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

The UK government has outlined its commitment to spending 2.4% of national wealth on R&D by 2027 - and what better time to see if your company is eligible for R&D Tax Credits.

The R&D Tax Credits scheme is designed to help with the costs of innovation and is open to any company in any sector. Although it’s a highly valuable tax incentive that’s been around for nearly two decades, far too many companies are still unaware they could benefit.

However, putting together a claim isn’t easy, even for organisations that have claimed before. So we’ve created our quick, simple 5 step guide to delivering a fully optimised R&D tax relief application when you work with us at Myriad Associates.

Given that an average R&D claim can be worth around £65,000 to a company, can yours afford to miss out?

There are two parts to applying for R&D Tax Credits

For SMEs in particular, the first part of the challenge lies in describing to HMRC exactly what the project was and what the costs were. It needs to be compiled in such a way that outlines how the spending meets HMRC rules and guidelines.

The second part of the challenge - and this is the trickier bit - is to demonstrate to HMRC that the work your company has been undertaking matches the criteria for R&D. HMRC inspectors receive many applications throughout the year, and don’t always have the time or in-depth knowledge to unpick your application if it’s hard to understand. This means you need to describe your activities and costs (and their significance) in a clear and concise way using as little jargon as possible.

Step 1: Initial brainstorming

The first step in making your claim should involve all your key technical experts plus finance and R&D representatives in a room to consider which project(s) are likely to be applicable. The work needs to have been undergone in the last two accounting periods and you will need to stipulate the start and finish date of each project (or just the start date if the work isn’t yet complete).

Step 2: Writing up the technical report

A technical report is an integral part of an R&D Tax Credits application. We suggest that technical briefings are completed to cover approximately 60% of your development costs. It therefore makes sense to prepare a technical briefing for R&D work that is high on the development time front. It’s absolutely crucial that the technical report focuses on highlighting the qualifying activities within the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) guidelines. We also strongly recommend that the technical briefing is drafted by a team of R&D tax relief experts such as ourselves, to make sure qualification criteria is met.

Step 3: Creating a costing schedule

You R&D tax relief claim will need to be supported by a costing schedule that allocates qualifying costs to each eligible development project. Again, this is where it’s highly advised you use our services, because as R&D tax relief specialists we will make sure your costing schedule is completed correctly and that your claim is optimised. Claims can include a range of ‘revenue’ expenditure types, as long as they actively and directly relate to the relevant development project. This includes things like staffing costs, agency worker costs, software costs directly relating to eligible development projects, sub-contract costs (65% of invoiced value), apportionment of power, fuel and water and certain consumable costs.

Step 4: Claim submission

A comprehensive R&D tax relief claim must include costing schedules and technical briefings. You will need to adjust the company tax return (CT600) and tax calculations, which we can complete on your behalf. If you are making your claim retrospectively, then the CT600 and tax computations will need to be amended and resubmitted alongside the R&D Tax Credits claim. The R&D tax relief application, together with the tax calculations, company tax return and the statutory accounts will be subject to review by one of the seven regional HMRC R&D Tax Units.

Step 5: HMRC reviews and processes your claim

Your claim will now be processed by HMRC, which will include a review of your technical briefings, company tax return/tax computations, and costing schedule. If your application is then given the green light, payment can typically be expected within 1 to 2 weeks after processing. However, if HMRC looks to launch an enquiry into your R&D Tax Credits claim, you will normally receive notification of this within 30 days of the claim being received. Bear in mind though that HMRC reserves the right to make an enquiry up to 12 months after a company tax return has been submitted.

How Myriad Associates will achieve the R&D tax relief your company deserves

Thanks to our many years of experience in dealing entirely with R&D tax relief claims, you can rest assured our service is second to none. We’re proud of our 100% success rate, so you know your application will be totally maximised and successful.

Myriad Associates submits R&D tax relief claims up to 3 times higher than DIY claims and those which are filed by general business accountants. In just two to three hours of your time we can handle your claim from start to finish, and will produce accurate, optimised HMRC-approved technical reports and figures.

We also make sure your claim is submitted exactly right first time, meaning a swift turn round from HMRC. Our excellent relationship with HMRC inspectors also means any queries can be ironed out fast, with minimal hassle to you. Plus, our clear, transparent pricing structure means you’ll receive outstanding value: you’ll only pay us when we’re successful, and nothing up front.

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When it comes to R&D tax relief we are experts in our field having been in business for almost 20 years. Call us today or alternatively you can fill out our contact form so we can respond to you as quickly as possible.

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