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Critical Differences: Pre-Notification vs Additional Information Form for R&D Tax Relief Claims

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Over the past two years, HMRC have introduced a plethora of changes to the R&D tax relief schemes, mostly aiming to reduce the levels of fraud and error in the schemes. While this is a noble aim, the number of changes introduced over a relatively short period, along with each change relating to different claim periods and expenditures, means that there is a great deal of confusion about what changes apply to which claims. Nowhere is this confusion more evident than when talking to advisors about the pre-notification and Additional Information Form (AIF).

What’s the difference between pre-notification and additional information?

Pre-notification was introduced for claims starting on or after 1st April 2023. HMRC requires first-time claimants, or companies that haven’t claimed for three years, to notify them of their intention to claim R&D tax relief within six months of the end of the accounting period. 

The Additional Information Form was introduced on 8th August 2023 for all claims submitted on or after this date. There are no exemptions to this requirement – an AIF must be submitted for all claims ahead of the related CT600. HMRC removes the R&D tax relief claims from tax returns submitted without an accompanying AIF. 

What information is needed to complete each form?

In terms of the amount of information needed to complete each form, they are very different! The pre-notification form is relatively brief, asking only for contact details for the company and all advisors involved in the claim, the dates of the claim period, and a summary of the R&D work undertaken during the claim period. 

The Additional Information Form, on the other hand, requires a great deal of detailed information about the claim. Like the pre-notification form, contact details and claim dates are required, but that’s all they have in common. The AIF also asks for in-depth descriptions of a mandated number of projects, details cost breakdowns and details that enable assessment of whether the claimant qualifies for intensive R&D support. 

Do I have to submit a pre-notification form for all claims?

No! In fact, most companies will not have to complete a pre-notification form. It’s only required for companies that have never claimed before, or who have not submitted a claim within three years of the end of the notification period* (six months after the end of the accounting period). In addition, if a company submits the claim within the notification period, they don’t have the submit a pre-notification form.  

*According to the legislation, some previous claims don’t count – claims for periods starting before 1st April 2023 but submitted as an amendment after 1st April 2023 must be excluded. This is not mentioned in HMRC’s guidance.

How can I access the forms?

Both the pre-notification form and the additional information form are accessible through HMRC’s website. Advisors have to log in using an Agent Services account to be able to prepare and submit forms on behalf of their clients. 

How is WhisperClaims assisting customers with the AIF & Pre-notification?

With intuitive software and easy to access Advice Line support, our customers have confidence that they can navigate these big and small regulatory changes within the scheme, whilst ensuring they stay compliant. Our innovative AIF solution seamlessly outputs the data required to complete the Additional Information Form portal and our risk checkers ensure that no claim is progressed if the opportunity to pre-notify has lapsed.

Given that the AIF has presented such a huge change in the way claims are prepared and submitted, and pre-notification is relatively simple by comparison, we’ve dedicated an entire ebook to guide you through the process – explaining how to get started, a detailed explanation about the various sections of the portal, and why you still need to prepare a separate R&D report.

Download our Get to grips with the Additional Information Form Guide here

If you’re not already a WhisperClaims customer, and you’re interested to know more about our R&D tax software and support services, please feel free to book a one to one demo or just a chat!

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How to write an R&D tax relief technical narrative

With HMRC’s new mandatory requirement for project descriptions on all submissions, we wanted to share our experiences to help others to write their best possible technical narratives.

Available to download here.

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