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The Meaning of ‘Competent Professionals’ in Business and R&D Tax Credits

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If you’re running a business or are involved in research and development (R&D), you may have heard the term “competent professional” being used. But what does this mean, and why is it important? 

In this article, discover the role of competent professionals in business and find out how they can help with your R&D tax credit claims.

What is a competent professional?

There’s no formal definition anywhere in the guidance, so it should take its usual meaning in English. A competent professional is an individual in your business who has the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience in your relevant area of science or technology. For instance, a developer may be the competent professional for software projects, while an engineer could be the competent professional for manufacturing businesses.

In short, a competent professional has a successful track record in their field and can assess the technologically challenging aspects of your work, including which of your business activities count as R&D.

The role of a competent professional in R&D tax credits

Your competent professional plays a crucial role in identifying which of your business activities count as R&D for tax credit purposes. They can help you:

  • Distinguish between the routine and challenging elements of a project.
  • Determine which activities contribute to your advances.
  • Help you identify the boundaries of your qualifying projects and attribute and apportion your qualifying expenditure to these activities.
  • Make sure that your R&D tax credit claims are accurate and complete.

Including biographical details in your technical narrative

When preparing your R&D tax credit claim, it’s important to include biographical details of your competent professional in your technical narrative. This shows HMRC that proper boundaries have been drawn across your claim and that the competent professional has applied their relevant expertise in assessing the straightforward and routine elements of your work, as well as defining the project’s uncertain and difficult aspects.

Find out what else to include in your technical documentation in our related article: What Should I Include in the Technical Documentation of My R&D Claim?

Maximise your R&D claim value with Ayming’s experienced team

Our experienced chartered tax advisers, sector specialists, and former HMRC inspectors here at Ayming can help you identify the full extent of your qualifying activities and expenditure, which in turn can help you maximise the value of your claim. 

We work closely with you to ensure that all the necessary information is included in our comprehensive supporting documentation, providing you with peace of mind that your claim is both robust and defensible.