Can R&D tax software prevent accidental fraud?
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The recent press about fraud and errors in R&D tax relief claims has even the most battle-hardened R&D tax relief advice providers feeling a little rattled. Many are asking themselves whether all their claims would pass muster, and whether there’s more they could be doing to ensure that their processes are good enough to ensure that all claims are produced to the high standards of compliance that they aspire to.
Alongside this looms the spectre of the December and January rush, with company year ends, personal tax returns and R&D claims with December hard deadlines all piling up. Times like these make it difficult to find the time to dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘t’s, and, even with the most robust of manual processes, errors can creep in. The problem here is that HMRC enquiries are time-consuming to deal with, and they won’t go easy just because the errors were accidental!
Here at WhisperClaims we believe that having robust processes that are applied the same way every time, for every claim is key to preventing errors, and experience tells us that this could be achieved through manual processes. However, experience also tells us that in any process the weak point is people. People are inconsistent and rushed and forgetful, and can often convince themselves there’s no need to follow processes as long as they’re careful. In short, people are the biggest risk in any process!
So, what’s the answer to all of this? How can providers ensure that claims are produced consistently, even during the busiest time of the year? In short, software automation! R&D tax relief preparation software is designed to ensure consistency of process and output. The same questions are asked in the same order for every client and every claim, and can’t be forgotten or skipped over, so providers can be certain that claim data has been reliably gathered. WhisperClaims software also checks that the company meets HMRC’s criteria for claiming, so that no time is wasted working on ineligible clients.
On top of this, using software that can produce an automated technical narrative and cost breakdown ensures consistency of output as well as process; there’s no point asking all of the right questions if that information doesn’t always make it into the narrative! The time saving associated with automated report production also frees up time to do what’s important, be that working with more clients or being able to spend more time with each individual client.