Research and Development Tax Credits

How can Maple Accountancy help?

How can Maple Accountancy help with R&D tax credits?

Maple Accountancy is one of the UK’s leading regional accountancy firms. Over the years, we have helped hundreds of businesses, of all sizes, all over the UK, apply for and successfully obtain R&D tax credits. We have an in-house team of R&D specialists who can help you claim tens, or in some cases, hundreds of thousands of pounds in R&D tax relief. We charge nothing up front, and if your claim is not accepted by HMRC, you won’t pay a penny.

Square R&D letter tiles on top of stacks of coins with blue background. Represents Research and Development Tax Credits.

What are Research and Development (R&D) tax credits?

Research and development (R&D) tax credits are a government incentive, for businesses of all sizes, to reward them for innovation. A UK tax relief, R&D tax credits is a process where the government rewards innovative companies attempting to push the boundaries of what can be achieved by reducing the amount of tax liable on any profits directly relating to these projects, or where profits have not yet been made the company may receive a tax credit. Research and development tax credits can greatly reduce your overheads and be worth a lot to any company spending money on researching and developing new products or processes or improving existing ones. No matter what sector you’re in, if you’re spending money on research and development, then you could be eligible to claim R&D tax credits.

The government wants businesses to develop new ideas, and they’re willing to help businesses fund this. That’s what research and development (R&D) tax credits are all about. Whilst they are already used to great effect by many of the business giants, smaller businesses can benefit too, providing they apply.

Is my company eligible for Research and Development tax credits?

The basic criteria that must be met in order to qualify for R&D tax credits are quite broad. Your business may qualify for research and development tax credits if the following apply:

Research and development tax credits are often overlooked by entrepreneurs and small businesses, who assume they have to have an on-site laboratory or be involved in a significant research breakthrough to claim the credits. This simply isn’t true.

Many small and medium-sized businesses can claim R&D tax credits. You don’t even need to be an established business to claim for research and development tax credits. They are particularly good for start-up businesses because the costs incurred in the years when a company has no income can be carried forward to offset taxes on future profits.

What is classed as qualifying R&D activities?

HMRC has provided guidance on what types of activity qualify for R&D relief. To qualify for research and development tax credits a business must have undertaken a collection of activities aimed at overcoming a scientific uncertainty that could not be easily deduced by a competent professional in that field. Even if your project was not successful, you could still qualify.

In other words, you tried to do something that hasn’t been done before. 

If you’re doing at least one of these things, then I would highly suggest that you check out R&D tax credits:

What Research and Development (R&D) costs can be claimed?

You can claim research and development tax relief on day-to-day operational costs. It’s designed, by government, as a tax reduction on qualifying expenses. These qualifying expenses include:

It also doesn’t matter where, geographically, the money is spent. 

All the big companies claim for R&D tax credits and if you’ve not taken advantage of it before, then you can usually go back to up to two years which can, in some situations, result in HMRC sending you a cheque.

What industries can apply for Research and Development tax credits?

There is no formal requirement for your business to be any specific industry to qualify for R&D tax credits. Here are some of the more frequent sectors involved in research and development.
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Manufacturing
  • Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning
  • Water, sewage, and waste
  • Construction
  • Wholesale and retail trade, repairs
  • Transport and storage
  • Information and communication
  • Financial and insurance
  • Retail estate
  • Professional, scientific and technical
  • Admin and support services
  • Public admin, defence, and social services
  • Education
  • Health and social work
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Other service activities

This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully, you get the idea. All kinds of industries can qualify for research and development tax credits and the benefits of claiming R&D tax credits can often be significant.

HM Revenue & Custom Forms covered in coins.

How much could I get from the R&D tax credit relief?

How much you can get back will depend on your individual situation. The average claim can be worth tens of thousands of pounds, but in some cases, this can be as much as hundreds of thousands. Below are some examples of claims that we’ve been involved in over recent years in which we’ve successfully obtained thousands of pounds worth of research and development tax credits.

A chair manufacturer...

A chair manufacturer that makes chairs for the NHS, who then developed a specific and specialised design for spinal support, which includes waterproof mechanics. The R&D tax credits totalled to over £54,000.

An agricultural liming company...

An agricultural liming company adapted an office mapping phone app to map fields. This map includes the pH of the soil to indicate where to apply each product, which produced R&D tax savings of over £5,000.

A camper van conversion company...

A camper van conversion company introduced new production methods including the development of lightweight composites, with the aim to break a camper van's speed record. This generated a tax saving of almost £15,000.

A drain cleaning and surveying company...

A drain cleaning and surveying company pioneered the development of a purpose-designed vehicle with the capability of jetting the drains, as well as CCTV that surveys the runs immediately afterwards, using the same two-man crew. Their tax savings were over £30,000.

A renewable energy company...

A renewable energy company produced a new hybrid inverter, along with a system to control the product. This generated a tax saving of £90,000.

An electrical power business...

An electrical power business developed an alternative product that replaces conventional current transformers at lower costs as it's smaller and intrinsically safer. The company has banked tax savings of over £170,000 from a two-year period.

Why choose Maple?

The best way to ensure your claim is successful and you get every penny you are eligible for, is to leave it to the experts. Maple has a team of in-house R&D specialists who have years of experience helping businesses with research and development tax credits. The claims process is complex and can be confusing for those who do not have knowledge and experience of it or HMRC rules and legislation.

Maple does all the hard work for you. We educate you and your staff along the way and spend the hours, so you don’t have to. Having worked with the HMRC for many years, we understand their processes and legislation so we can ensure your claim is accurate and that you receive every penny possible. As we can already see what you have spent, we will be able to point out any expenditure you have missed and stop the claim from falling short. We fill in all the appropriate forms, complete all calculations for you and even submit your claim and communicate with HMRC on your behalf.

Our process

We specifically designed our process to minimise the time that you need to be involved so you can get on with more important things. The process is broken down into four main steps:

One of our R&D tax credit experts will contact you to determine your eligibility. We ask a few simple questions about your product, your staff, and your processes. By the end of this conversation, we can usually tell you whether you qualify and if so, how much you may be able to save.

Building off step one, our in-house R&D specialists work with you to determine exactly what activities qualify. Once we determine these, we’ll ask for some documents such as invoices, payroll records, and job descriptions. We’ll also discuss your profitability to help determine how we can prepare your case.

By this point, you have spent less than two hours, while we have spent time collating all the information for you behind the scenes. We’ve gathered and discussed your information, looked at your documentation and have run the calculations that tell you how much we think you will save.

This is an exciting step for us because we have enough information to tell you if the figure from step one is going to be even bigger (which is often the case). We’ll contact you to discuss what we have found.

In this step, we conduct interviews with the relevant employees in your company. This includes the people who have done the work, written the code and those involved in producing the product and bringing it to market. They’re all asked to provide information about their activity into the study.

When all that information is gathered, our team will perform all the required calculations and pull together all the information on the necessary tax forms to keep you compliant.

Perhaps the most important deliverable that you will get at this stage is the detailed report that substantiates the numbers. These reports are the basis and the proof behind the numbers and will be critical to satisfy HMRC requirements. Once you have signed off the technical report, we will submit it to HMRC on your behalf.

Now what?

Our team will keep you regularly updated about the progress of your case and communicate with HMRC on your behalf if they have any queries.

It’s that easy. Our process is very straightforward and often takes less than 8-10 hours of total client time.

Where else can you invest such a small amount of time and get a payback of tens, or in some cases, hundreds of thousands of pounds? Whichever way you look at it, research and development tax credits are a great example of fantastic payback on time invested.

Crucially, the effort does not have to end after one claim. In many cases, as long as there’s an R&D tax credit available you can claim them every single year and without a doubt improve the process each time.

The window to claim for research and development tax credits is just two years from your company’s year-end, so you should start the process of making an R&D tax claim sooner rather than later.  

HMRC Tax Credits Form with a pen and a calculator.

How much does it cost?

With Maple, our process is designed so that you pay nothing upfront. We won’t expect payment until the credit has been applied, or the cheque has been received. If HMRC doesn’t accept your claim, then you won’t have to pay a penny.

The benefits of claiming could be significant, so what are you waiting for? Contact Maple today for a free R&D analysis. Our experts will be able to tell you if you’re eligible to claim for R&D tax credits and will be more than happy to discuss your situation and provide any further help or advice.

Get in touch

If you didn’t find the answer to your question above or on our website, send over your question or enquiry by filling in this form. We always love to hear from you. Whether you’d like to know more about Maple, have a general enquiry, or need an answer to a specific question, just get in touch and one of our friendly advisors will get back to you as soon as possible.

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