Feature of the Month | Checking for Eligibility: How is this done, and how can the WhisperClaims app help?

For many of our users, determining whether their client is eligible for R&D tax relief can be challenging. Happily, due to the way the WhisperClaims app is set up, they can use it to assess the basics of eligibility as they go along, and without being charged for the report. However, before I get into the details of how this works, let’s take a moment to talk about assessing clients for eligibility and why it’s important.

What do we mean by eligibility?

When we talk about eligibility in this context, we’re considering two things: is the entity able to claim R&D tax relief, and do its projects meet HMRC’s criteria for eligibility?

For an entity to be able to claim R&D tax relief, it must be a limited company that is liable for UK corporation tax and be a going concern at the time of making the claim – all pretty simple, but easy to forget in the throes of thinking about technical eligibility and costs.

For a company’s R&D work to be eligible for R&D tax relief, it must:

  • Be aiming to make an advance in Science or Technology;
  • Require the resolution of Technological Uncertainties;
  • Be undertaken as part of a project; and
  • Be led by competent professionals

These points can be difficult to assess in real-life situations, and requires the input of the technical team at the claimant company.

How can an app assess eligibility?

The short answer is it can’t – not by itself anyway!

The technical report is submitted to HMRC alongside the relevant corporation tax return. You can find out more about this process in a previous blog, but in essence it’s pretty simple – you can either upload the report to your tax filing software, or email to HMRC.

How does report generation in WhisperClaims work?

Report generation in WhisperClaims is remarkably straightforward – of course, by the time our users come to generate the report they’ve already done the hard part and entered all of the information about the claim!

Once you’ve entered and reviewed all of the claim information, report generation couldn’t be simpler – all you have to do is finalise the claim, which locks down the answers and enables the system to accurately produce the report. To access the report, you’re taken through the paywall, then it’s a simple matter of downloading. It couldn’t be easier, or indeed faster – from clicking ‘Finalise’ to reading the report is a matter of seconds!

What is an R&D tax relief technical report?

The aim of a technical report or technical narrative is to convince HMRC that the R&D tax relief claim is valid and answer any initial questions they might have about the claim. A good technical report manages to do all of this concisely and without introducing any red flags!

The technical report needs to cover all of the key things that HMRC is interested in when assessing an R&D tax relief claim:

  • Which areas of science or technology was the company operating in?
  • What technical advances did the company seek to make during the claim period?
  • What technical difficulties did it meet along the way?
  • Did the company use competent professionals to carry out the work?

What do I do with the technical report?

The technical report is submitted to HMRC alongside the relevant corporation tax return. You can find out more about this process in a previous blog, but in essence it’s pretty simple – you can either upload the report to your tax filling software, or email to HMRC.

How does report generation in WhisperClaims work?

Report generation in WhisperClaims is remarkably straightforward – of course, by the time our users come to generate the report they’ve already done the hard part and entered all of the information about the claim!

Once you’ve entered and reviewed all of the claim information, report generation couldn’t be simpler – all you have to do is finalise the claim, which locks down the answers and enables the system to accurately produce the report. To access the report, you’re taken through the paywall, then it’s a simple matter of downloading. It couldn’t be easier, or indeed faster – from clicking ‘Finalise’ to reading the report is a matter of seconds!

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