Support round-up for 2021: your top queries!
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One of the things that sets WhisperClaims apart from other players in our industry is our comprehensive support channel. We’re not just an “Breakdown Service” for when the App isn’t working. We go beyond the frustrating issues and offer a helpful supplementary service to our users to assist them in navigating the nuances of HMRC’s guidance on Research & Development.
Throughout 2021 we offered all kinds of support in all kinds of ways, from Jen doing her regular training webinars, to our in-App Live Chat (launched in the Autumn) via the Facebook Community Page (also launched in the Autumn), which is a great place for our users to interact. By popular demand we’ve also just reinstated our WhatsApp group! During 2021 we were asked all kinds of questions, from the straightforward eligibility questions to some highly technical ones which often take some head scratching research of our own!
While we answered a fair few questions on how to submit a CT600, and lots of queries about subcontracted R&D, the most common subject of questions from 2021 was grants and all of the complexities around these.
Given the last two challenging trading years, many companies had reached out and utilised Grants or other forms of Government assistance for the first time. This in turn leads to questions relating to how to account for these and how they impact on a claim for R&D Tax Relief.
HMRC changed how Employment Allowance is accounted for, and we had numerous questions around CBILS and BBLS. Thankfully these were mostly quite straightforward. But with companies applying for more and more government assistance, this meant that the number of questions around how they affect an R&D claim shot up! Unfortunately, the T&Cs around these grants are all very different (based on the Grant provider) and they do affect a claim in different ways. These were not always straightforward answers.
With the ability to retrospectively claim for R&D, no doubt many of these questions will be repeated over the coming 18 months, so our advice is to understand the type of Grant being applied for. Is this Grant a form of Notified State Aid? Is it changing a decent SME claim into a less beneficial RDEC claim? It should also prompt conversations as to whether it is even beneficial to look for a Grant (they are quite time consuming themselves), or just utilise the tax credits on offer from HMRC.