Research and Development Tax Credits. Turning innovative ideas into cash

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1 Research and Development Tax Credits Turning innovative ideas into cash

2 2 INTRODUCTION Research & Development (R&D) tax reliefs were introduced to incentivise companies to innovate using the tax system. Potentially available to any company seeking the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainties, this relief is not simply restricted to pure scientific research or technology companies. Despite common misconceptions, claims are not limited to research by technicians in laboratories. Eligible companies obtain extra tax relief on qualifying expenditure. This extra relief either reduces taxable profits or creates or increases tax losses. Such losses can usually be sacrificed to HMRC in return for a cash repayment from HMRC. R&D tax reliefs can only be claimed by qualifying companies, incurring qualifying expenditure, on qualifying R&D projects. Relief is claimable under either the large company scheme or the small/medium sized enterprise (SME) scheme. Criteria Skills Modification Develop Manufacturer Resolution Steel Credit Software Meta anufacturing novation Printing Modernisation Growth Products Assistance Research Consumables Ideas Processes Chemica Electronics Upgradin evelopment Sc Hydraulic Automations Technology Engineering Knowledge Project Advance Advancement Design Value Aerospace

3 YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO MISS OUT Why every innovative company should claim The level of relief is very generous. A SME incurring 100k of qualifying costs on wages and materials could save 25k in tax. How long would it take to generate the sales to produce 25k of profits? The definition of R&D for tax purposes is probably much wider than you think. Any kind of innovation can potentially qualify. It really doesn t need to be rocket science. HM Revenue & Customs consistently state that these reliefs are hugely under claimed, so make sure you don t miss out. How companies qualify Companies with less than 500 employees and either turnover below 100m or a balance sheet total of less than 86m can claim under the SME scheme. Companies falling above these limits fall within the large company scheme. Where companies are members of a group or are connected to other companies, these limits will apply to the group or cluster of connected companies. Companies must be a going concern at the date of making the claim. 3

4 QUALIFYING EXPENDITURE Types of qualifying expenditure Only revenue expenditure used directly in carrying out R&D will qualify. Prior to 1 April 2012, a minimum of 10,000 qualifying expenditure needed to be incurred within an accounting period; this limit was abolished from 1 April Expenditure must be incurred on any of the following: Computer software. Staff costs (including employers NICs and employer pension contributions but not benefits in kind). Power, water and fuel used directly in the R&D process. Consumables used directly in the R&D process, (e.g. tooling, raw materials and prototypes). Costs of subcontracting R&D and/or externally provided workers such as agency staff. Relief is available at a reduced rate on these costs. R&D allowances Capital allowances are available at a rate of 100% on capital expenditure used for research and development purposes. This gives full tax relief in year one on expenditure when relief may otherwise be obtained at a rate of 18% per annum. 4

5 QUALIFYING R&D PROJECTS Guidelines Qualifying projects aim to advance the overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainties. Such projects may create or appreciably improve a process, material, device or product. Such projects may have tangible consequences such as new or more efficient products or more intangible consequences such as new knowledge or cost improvements. Expenditure incurred on abortive projects can still qualify. Broadly, any innovation can qualify, if the answer to any of the following questions is yes then a claim may be possible: Have manufacturing processes been modified, perhaps to meet specific orders? Has bespoke software been developed or paid for? Does the company hold a market leading position? Are patents held over any products? Do technical staff have to undertake problem solving or research? Have new products been developed or existing products upgraded or refined? Have manual processes been automated? 5

6 KEY FEATURES OF THE SCHEMES How relief is claimed Claims to R&D tax reliefs are dealt with by specialist units in HMRC. These units usually require detailed analysis of the qualifying projects undertaken and the expenditure incurred thereon. Companies have two years from the end of the relevant accounting period to make a claim. Claims can be submitted on a stand-alone basis or as part of a company s corporation tax return for the relevant period. Key features of the SME scheme An additional 125% of tax relief can be claimed on qualifying revenue expenditure (was 100% prior to 1 April 2012). This effectively gives the company tax relief on 225% of qualifying expenditure. Any losses arising from enhanced deductions can be surrendered to HMRC in return for cash repayments of up to 32.62% of the qualifying expenditure. The company can claim relief for expenditure on subcontracting R&D. Relief may be reduced where projects are grant funded or otherwise subsidised. Key features of the large company scheme An additional 30% of tax relief can be claimed on qualifying expenditure, effectively giving the company tax relief on 130% of qualifying expenditure. Any losses arising from enhanced deductions can usually be sacrificed to HMRC in return for cash repayments of up to 10% of the qualifying expenditure. The company can only claim enhanced relief for expenditure incurred on subcontracting R&D in limited circumstances. 6

7 ILLUSTRATIONS SME Scheme During the accounting year ended March 2013, A Ltd incurs 100,000 of qualifying R&D expenditure under the SME scheme. The company pays corporation tax at a rate of 20%. A Ltd will be able to claim extra tax relief of 125,000 as well as the existing deduction for the 100,000 actually spent. The additional tax saving resulting from the extra tax relief is 25,000 ( 125,000 x 20%) less the fees incurred in making the claim. Large Company Scheme During the accounting year ended 31 March 2013, Large Ltd incurs 1,000,000 of qualifying R&D revenue expenditure under the large company scheme and a further 75,000 on plant and machinery directly associated with the R&D project. The company pays corporation tax at a rate of 24%. Large Ltd will be able to claim extra tax relief of 300,000 as well as the existing deduction for the 1,000,000 actually spent. Large Ltd will also be able to claim 100% capital allowances for the 75,000 spent on R&D plant and machinery rather than the 18% capital allowances normally available on non-r&d items. The additional tax saving resulting from the extra tax relief is 86,760 ( 300,000+61,500 x 24%) less fees incurred in making the claim. 7

8 CASE STUDIES Examples of claims we have prepared Motor Sport Company Major software developer Manufacturer of chemicals for textiles Steel Manufacturing Company Electronics Company Steel Heat Treatment Company 100m+ turnover manufacturing company Small manufacturer of animal feeds Ongoing development of racing technology c 140k tax savings secured Development of ground breaking software Significant tax savings Claim accepted in full by HMRC Ongoing development of new products Over 20k tax savings Developing efficient processes and supporting software Tax repayment of circa 100k obtained Claim accepted in full by HMRC Manufacture of innovatory display equipment Tax repayment of 1m+ obtained Claim accepted in full by HMRC Refining their treatment processes Tax repayment obtained of over 200k Agreed quickly in advance by HMRC Developing products for the power and aerospace industries Tax repayment of c 200k obtained Claim accepted in full by HMRC Developing new animal health products Tax repayments of around 20k obtained No HMRC queries received 8

9 TESTIMONIALS What our customers say Andy Gurnell Managing Director, Tele-Products Ltd Tele-Products engaged Scott to assist us in generating a retrospective R&D Tax credits claim. It was clear from the outset that Scott, and other members of his team, had great knowledge and extensive experience. Shorts team made compiling the claim very easy and we were successful - achieved a significant rebate from HMRC! We have re-engaged with Scott again to help us with the claim for our latest financial year. Alan Cooper Catalytic Technologies Ltd Scott lead our company through the new R&D tax relief scheme and our first HMRC claim. The claim and a 5 year framework for our future claims accepted by HMRC. I would recommend Scott to any company looking to explore these types of tax benefit For more testimonials visit our website at: Simon Martin Financial Controller, WANdisco International Limited Scott has provided very helpful tax advice to the company in the UK since it was established. In 2011, using his knowledge of the company s operations, he made it his business to ensure that the company was aware of, and claiming its full entitlement to, Research and Development Tax reliefs offered by the UK government to innovative businesses such as ours. Using his expertise in this area, Scott has very professionally dealt with the claims process, leading a project to prepare and submit significant claims to HMRC, which have been accepted without query 9

10 OUR CREDENTIALS Why choose Shorts?... Shorts was founded in 1890 and currently employs around 70 partners and staff in total. With more than 10 Chartered Tax Advisers and a tax department comprising many highly experienced individuals, we have an established reputation with a proven track record. Our tax team has a wealth of experience of advising companies on all aspects of claiming R&D tax reliefs. Our tax partner who heads up our R&D tax relief services, Scott Burkinshaw, has been involved in the leadership of the R&D tax relief teams at national firms of accountants. This experience, and that of our other tax partners and staff who have experience of advising on these reliefs, means that you can be confident in our ability and expertise in maximising any claims you make. Our approach involves, where necessary, open discussions with HMRC regarding problematic aspects of claims. This approach is appreciated by HMRC and helps to ensure that as much certainty as possible is received regarding the savings resulting from claims. Our team have been involved in hundreds of successful claims. Set out on page 8 are examples of cases we have been engaged in, illustrating the various sectors and activities in respect of which claims have been made. 10

11 Our Services We can advise on all aspects of R&D tax relief claims to ensure that the maximum amount of relief is claimed in accordance with the scope of the relevant legislation and other regulations. Our Services Include: Large and SME scheme claims. Identification of eligible R&D projects. Preparation of reports for submission to HMRC explaining why projects are eligible for relief. Identification, quantification and submission to HMRC of analysis of eligible expenditure. Liaising with HMRC pre-submission to obtain certainty on problematic areas Dealing with HMRC enquiries into claims already made. Onsite visits to ensure minimum disruption to the company and maximum efficiency in the claim preparation process. Auditing of claims drafted by others. Advising on the impact on claims of any subsidies received. Advising on how claims may be optimised in future. Our Costs Our fees for advising on R&D tax reliefs are flexible, fair and commercial. Typically we charge based on some or all of the following bases: Our time costs capped at an appropriate level. A fixed fee based on an up front estimate of likely costs. Partially or fully contingent based on a percentage of tax saved. 11

12 CONTACT US Request your consultation At Shorts, we have a wealth of experience of advising companies on their eligibility to claim and preparing claims that maximise the relief available. Our approach to making claims is tried and tested and welcomed by HMRC. Scott Burkinshaw heads up our R&D tax reliefs services so please contact him to discuss how we can help. SCOTT BURKINSHAW - Tax Partner Tel: Mobile: Sheffield: 912 Ecclesall Road Sheffield S11 8TR Chesterfield: 2 Ashgate Road Chesterfield S40 4AA Find us on LinkedIn Follow us on 12

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