Lack of change in Spring Budget should force firms to concentrate on R&D tax merger, says WhisperClaims

Share this article

WhisperClaims, a leading provider of R&D tax relief software and support, has welcomed the lack of change to R&D tax reliefs in the Spring Budget as it provides certainty to changes from 1 April 2024.

Despite hopes within the industry for a delay to these changes, WhisperClaims believes the lack of further reforms should give accountants and the clients they support the certainty they need to prepare for the merging of the SME and RDEC schemes.

The Impact of Autumn Statement Reforms

The Chancellor, in his Budget speech to Parliament, made no new announcements regarding R&D tax relief reforms, a move seen by many as providing certainty for innovative businesses.

However, hidden within the Spring Budget documents is the plan to establish an expert advisory panel.

This panel will consist of specialists from key sectors such as technology and life sciences, assisting HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the management of R&D tax relief schemes.

However, critically the existing reforms to R&D tax announced in the Autumn Statement will remain unchanged.

Mike Dean, Managing Director at WhisperClaims, said: “The formation of an expert advisory panel by HMRC is a positive step towards maintaining a robust and relevant R&D tax relief scheme. It ensures that the guidance remains in lockstep with the fast-paced developments in critical industries.

“But more importantly we now have surety that the merger will go ahead, leaving firms and their clients with the opportunity to properly prepare, without fear of further change.”

Despite the lack of new reforms in the Chancellor’s speech, the Autumn Statement of 2023 laid out significant changes with the merging of the SME and Research Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) schemes for accounting periods beginning on or after April 1, 2024.

This merger aims to streamline the claims process and improve access to funding for innovative companies. Under the new system, loss-making SMEs that spend more than 30 per cent of their total expenditure on R&D will benefit from a new SME-intensive scheme, offering a 27 per cent tax credit—a notable increase from the previous 40 per cent threshold requirement.

Mike added: “While we acknowledge the challenges these changes bring, WhisperClaims is fully prepared to support our clients through the transition. We were able to adapt our software on time to meet all of the deadlines associated with the changes introduced during 2023 and our product team are busy ensuring that we do the same this year, making sure our customers are following all of the latest rules”. 

As the deadline approaches, companies are reminded that they can still claim retrospectively under the old SME and RDEC schemes for up to two previous accounting periods plus the current one until the end of March 2024.

WhisperClaims encourages businesses to make the most of this opportunity while preparing for the upcoming changes.

If you’re not already a WhisperClaims customer, and you’re interested to know more about our R&D tax software and support services, you can book a one to one demo.

Book my demo

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.

Latest News