Can I help my clients get their R&D tax relief sooner?

Companies are always keen to improve cashflow, and R&D tax relief can be a great way to do this – they can either bring cash in as a tax credit or reduce their tax bills. For companies struggling in the current economic climate the timing of this can be crucial, so here are our tips to making sure that your client gets their benefit as soon as possible!

Has the claim already been submitted to HMRC?

HMRC Claim SubmissionIf the claim is already with HMRC, there’s very little you can do – the claim will be processed when the claim is processed and that’s that!

Has the client’s year end passed?

Has the client's date passed?

If the client’s year-end has passed, you’ve got an opportunity to get the claim in quickly! This does, of course, depend on your client cooperating and getting all of their financial year end information to you. Informing them of the size of their potential tax benefit could be a way to incentivise them to move faster, as can making sure your R&D claim process is quick and easy for both you and your client.

Is the client part-way through their financial year?

If your client is still part-way through their financial year, you’ve got a great opportunity to make sure that they get their money faster once they hit their year-end. Encouraging your client to keep clear records about the projects they have undertaken during the claim year, alongside details of money spent on R&D, can substantially reduce the time needed to prepare a claim. You can even go as far as advising them on how to set up their financial reporting and cost codes to make this as simple as possible come year end.

Changing end-of-year for tax

However, if your client is still six months away from their year end and desperate for cash, no amount of advance claim preparation is going to help them. This is where you can deploy the final weapon in your armoury – a change of financial year end. If you know that they’ve racked up significant R&D costs over the financial year so far, it could be advantageous for them to shorten their financial claim year and make a claim now rather than waiting for months!

Of course, it’s always better to do a little of everything – make sure you have a slick and robust process for preparing claims and taking the time to make sure your clients have the processes in place to properly record their projects and spending will be beneficial to all, no matter what the economy gets up to.


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