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Corporation Tax filing deadlines coming up? Keep on top of your clients’ claims

Author: Tom Mason

If your clients have Corporation Tax filing deadlines looming, this is a crucial time to discuss R&D claims for the next accounting period.

As a result of growing rates of non-compliance, error and fraudulent claims, Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has introduced additional criteria which require significant pre-planning.

You and your clients must take action well in advance of their filing deadlines to ensure that they do not miss out on claims and reliefs for which they are eligible.

Starting the discussion

It’s likely that you’re already have discussions with some clients about claiming tax relief for R&D expenditure – including those that have never submitted before because they think they are ineligible.

It’s important to help clients identify whether they wish to submit a claim far in advance of their Corporation Tax filing deadline – while these discussions are necessary, the real key is to make sure that you’re having them at the right time.

R&D tax relief claims now require significant preparation and far more information than in previous years, so you need to be proactive and approach clients before the end of the accounting period to plan ahead for claims.

Providing additional information

Much of this preparation goes into a recent (and significant) addition to the R&D tax claims process – the Additional Information Form (AIF).

It’s a required part of the R&D relief submission – providing an opportunity for your client to demonstrate how their R&D projects meet eligibility requirements and to detail the R&D intensity of their business as a whole.

Your client will either be expected to include:

  • Details for all qualifying expenditure – If they are claiming for between one and three projects.
  • Either details for 10 projects or for as many projects as make up at least 50 per cent of qualifying expenditure across at least three projects.

For R&D that is spread across multiple smaller projects, descriptions should be for the 10 projects with the most qualifying expenditure.

You and your client will need to be able to describe all qualifying expenditure and how it qualifies under the scheme, which requires significant pre-planning and a consistent technical narrative across all parts of the form.

For this reason, discussions with clients over submitting R&D tax claims need to start long before the end of the accounting period for which the claim is being made.

Advance notification

Proactive preparation is particularly important now that HMRC requires advance notification of intent to make a claim from businesses which meet certain criteria – either those that are submitting for the first time, or whose last claim was made more than three years before the current claim notification period.

It’s also important that clients understand that submitting this notification doesn’t create an obligation to submit a full claim – but may well mean the difference between a claim being successful and being rejected.

Corporation Tax filing deadlines can be stressful for you and for your clients. We understand this and we know that you don’t want R&D tax claims and new stringent requirements derailing an otherwise valid claim.

We can help you stay on top of your clients’ claims and make sure that you both meet crucial filing deadlines.

Contact randd uk for advice on staying on top of your clients’ R&D tax relief claims when Corporation Tax deadlines approach.