Corporate 18 March 2015

Budget 2015 & R&D Scheme Clarifications

Unsurprisingly, the 2015 Budget was primarily people-focused, as you would expect in the run up to a General Election.

Here at Alma we were a little disappointed to see that, although stating it was a Budget that backed business, there were few specifics on initiatives which would support UK businesses.

The lack of clarification on the changes to R&D Tax Relief schemes, announced last year in the 2014 Autumn Statement, was notably conspicuous by its absence. We were concerned that this would create greater uncertainty for businesses still getting to grips with major changes made to the schemes in 2013.

However, following George Osborne's announcements, we were delighted to receive confirmation from HMRC that, although not specifically referred to in the Budget Statement, the measures identified and announced in the 2014 Autumn Statement will take effect from 1st April 2015. This means that the SME R&D tax relief rate will be increased from 225% to 230% and the R&D Expenditure Credit rate will be increased from 10% to 11%. These changes also include the restrictions on consumables costs and confirmation of the introduction of a voluntary advanced assurance scheme for small businesses.

We welcome this clarification from HMRC and will be working with our clients to understand the implications of these changes, their eligibility and how to maximise their R&D tax relief from 1st April.