Published: 11:47, 08 October 2018
| Updated: 12:27, 08 October 2018
Ever heard of R&D tax relief? Did you know that your business could be entitled to some much-needed cash for all the hard work you're doing?
Introduced as a means to encourage innovation, R&D (Research & Development) tax relief is eligible for all companies undertaking development work.
This could be designing products, developing software, solving engineering problems or achieving an advance in science or technology.
If a company does this kind of work, then it could be entitled to a trim on its tax bill or an injection of cash, regardless of whether it is in profit or loss.
For every qualifying £100 spent on R&D, a company can get back between £13 and £33, with the average being £25.
This means that if you have paid staff and bought materials for prototypes to the value of £100,000 you could be looking at reducing your tax bill or, in some cases, actually getting a cash payment of £25,000.
The government came up with this brilliant scheme back in 2000 but, according to some financial experts, fell short in getting the message properly across to its target audience.
Research data from Forrest Brown shows a shocking 79% of companies who are eligible for the scheme have not yet staked their claims.
Further figures show that 40% of businesses did not think they were qualified, or had been told they did not qualify, when they were actually eligible, while 19% had never even heard of R&D tax relief.
Additionally, actually getting your hands on that lovely cash is not quite as straightforward as it sounds with further statistics showing that 20% did not know how to go about making a claim at HMRC.
And this is where consultancy companies like Breakthrough Funding can step in to lend a hand.
“Some companies are put off because they think it will involve a lot of form filling, or collation of hundreds of figures,” commented Breakthrough Funding CEO Sue Nelson.
“Our job is to do all that work. We usually have an initial phone call to see if a company is eligible.
“If they are, we go and visit them and interview staff or the management team and write up a technical report for HMRC to show how they meet the scheme criteria.
“We then work with the company’s finance department to get the figures we need.”
“All in all, it should take no more than a few hours of an SME owner’s time.”
Breakthrough Funding would then deal with HMRC all the way through until the money finally arrives in the company’s bank account.
“We really do strive to make this as painless as possible for our clients,” noted Sue.
Since starting her business back in April 2015, Sue and her staff have processed a total of 724 claims, gaining a grand total of £40,688,800 in tax relief or cash for clients across the UK.
Around 40% of those completed and confirmed claims are with companies in Kent with Breakthrough Funding having secured an average of £56,200 for the 297 R&D claims.
That comes to a total of £16.691 million earned by the company in tax relief or cash for the county of Kent alone. And with a 100% success rate, it is unsurprising that Breakthrough Funding have got their hands full with work for more clients.
Claiming back R&D tax relief is not just about companies getting cash for innovation; it also helps to boost the economy.
According to HMRC statistics, for every £1 returned in R&D tax relief or cash an additional £1.53 to £2.35 is stimulated for the UK economy.
In the last three years, Breakthrough Funding’s work on R&D tax relief has stimulated at least £25m into the local Kent economy.
“We have the great pleasure of visiting all sorts of innovative companies and it’s really inspiring,” continued Sue, whose company is based in Ashford.
“In Kent alone, we have successfully secured R&D tax relief or cash back for a toy manufacturer, food and drink producers, fruit growers, software developers and vineyards.”
“Other businesses include those in the motorsport, health, equine, engineering, manufacturing and tech sectors.”
To find out if you too qualify for R&D tax relief, take this free online test at Breakthrough Funding.
More by this authorJohn Leonidou
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