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Tax reliefs are available to UK companies that innovate, which can either generate cash repayments or reduce their tax liabilities, provided that their innovation qualifies as Research & Development (R&D) expenditure.
HMRC have been tackling and are continuing to tackle fraudulent claims, which have led to delays for many innocent claims and consequently, changes are being introduced.
Tackling abuse of R&D reliefs
The main changes for R&D tax relief 2023 to be aware of which will apply for accounting periods beginning 1 April 2023 are:
Our thoughts and considerations
It is clear that HMRC are transitioning many of their operations to digital only. We have seen this with MTD for VAT, and the implementation of digital processes for other taxes will be rolled out over time.
An advance notification to HMRC will prompt HMRC that a claim is on the way. This will allow HMRC to have the necessary teams in place to ensure that claims are good and proper and are well examined following the R&D submission. Notably, this requirement will need to be done within six months of the end of the accounting period to which the claim relates. Firms should be aware of this change as if a notification is not made to HMRC in time, an R&D claim may not be accepted.
This follows the second bullet above, meaning the time limit now changes from 12 months of the statutory filing date to two years from the end of the accounting period. Whilst, on the face of it this date is the same, it prevents companies from benefiting from R&D relief who do not receive a notice to file because they have already failed to register or notify HMRC that they are dormant.
Complying with the new changes, including providing HMRC with thorough detail on costings and endorsing each claim by a senior company officer will be compulsory. Companies should prepare and seek advice in advice of making a notification to HMRC from a suitably qualified tax professional.
Should you require assistance in making a claim to HMRC, or help in understanding whether your companies activity is qualifying for R&D purposes, then please get in touch.
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