Ayming calls for clarity as HMRC continues R&D tax relief clampdown

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Ayming calls for clarity as HMRC continues R&D tax relief clampdown
News & Press
March 12, 2024

London, 12 March 2024: Ayming, a leading specialist in innovation incentives consulting, urges businesses to navigate the complexities of R&D tax relief claims with caution following recent coverage of HMRC enquiries by the BBC.

HMRC’s efforts to combat fraudulent claims within the scheme are well-established. While these measures are necessary, we see a concerning trend of legitimate R&D claims getting caught in the crossfire. This creates uncertainty in the market and can be financially damaging for businesses.

“R&D tax reliefs remain a vital government incentive for driving innovation,” says Mark Smith, Managing Director at Ayming UK. “However, the recent rise in enquiries by HMRC highlights two things: One is clearly the importance of robust claim preparation to ensure compliance with the legislation. The second is to advocate for clearer communication and guidance from HMRC to ensure the government meets its policy objectives.”

Ayming recommends the following steps to mitigate risk and ensure a smooth R&D tax relief claim process:

  • Seek reputable advice: The R&D tax relief landscape has undergone significant changes in recent years, and more change is on the horizon. Partnering with a reputable advisor with a deep understanding of the scheme’s intricacies can help businesses navigate these complexities and ensure claims are compliant.
  • Technical reports are key: A robust technical report, outlining the qualifying R&D activities undertaken, is crucial for supporting a claim. This report should be prepared by a qualified professional with a thorough understanding of the scientific or technological advancements involved.
  • Contractual protection: Businesses should ensure their contracts with R&D advisors explicitly include an enquiry defence clause. This clause safeguards the claimant in case HMRC raises questions about the claim at a later date. It also ensures claimants aren’t stung by another bill or left unsupported during an enquiry due to an unscrupulous consultancy.

By following these steps, businesses can maximise the benefits of R&D tax relief while reducing the risk of enquiry.


About Ayming 

Ayming is a company of 1,300 business performance experts in 15 countries across Europe, North America, and Asia. We leverage our diverse expertise across innovation incentives and grant funding to empower our clients to achieve extraordinary results.

For over 30 years, Ayming has built a legacy of insightful leadership and fostering powerful relationships. This legacy translates into demonstrably successful outcomes for our clients. By focusing on innovation, financial optimisation, and employee development, we consistently deliver significant ROI. In research and development funding alone, Ayming secures over €1 billion annually for our clients.

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