SME companies across Northern Ireland are still losing out on R&D tax credit savings

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Yolande Hanna

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SME companies across Northern Ireland are still losing out on R&D tax credit savings

HMRC RD Tax Credit Stats

SME companies across Northern Ireland are still losing out on potentially tens of thousands of pounds in R&D tax credit savings every year compared to their counterparts across the rest of the UK, according to R&D Tax Credits specialist The Momentum Group.

Analysis of the latest HMRC figures show that Northern Ireland businesses accounted for £75m of all R&D tax credits claimed across the UK for the year 2017-2018. However, this accounts for just 2.7% of the total number of claims on a national level and a mere 1.7% of the total monetary benefit claimed.

Of the 1,310 Northern Ireland claims, 1,100 were claimed under the SME R&D scheme with the remainder claimed under schemes for large companies (RDEC).

HMRC Tax Credits Statistics 2017-8

The average amount claimed by companies in Northern Ireland was £57,250, with the average for SMEs being £41,000. For SMEs, this represents an 11% increase in the number of claims and a 13% increase in the value of claims.

Significantly, there has been a serious shift in how Northern Ireland’s larger companies are benefiting the most from the scheme. Statistics illustrate a 25% increase in the number of claims, yet the monetary value of these have increased by 150%.

Tom Verner, Managing Director of The Momentum Group, commented:

“Northern Ireland firms are finally waking up to the R&D tax relief schemes. However, many SMEs are still continuing to hit the snooze button whilst larger companies are taking full advantage of the scheme. For the first time on a national scale, Northern Ireland’s large companies are the big winners here.
“These latest figures from HMRC are a demonstration of once again how Northern Ireland companies are punching above their weight. When you drill into the statistics on a directly comparative level, Northern Ireland firms are holding their own against the rest of the UK. With Brexit looming, it is imperative that innovative firms – no matter what their sector – do not disregard what is in effect ‘money on the table’.”

Continuing a recent trend, London, the South East and the East of England made the highest number of claims over the course of the year, accounting for nearly half (46%) of all claims and over three-fifths (61%) of the total monetary amount claimed.

On a UK-wide scale, the figures show a concentration of claims (68%) in the ‘Manufacturing’, ‘Professional, Scientific & Technical’ and ‘Information & Communication’ sectors, with this making up nearly three-quarters (73%) of the total monetary amount claimed.

Since its inception, Momentum has helped its clients identify over £135 million in eligible R&D expenditure.

Find out more about R&D Tax Credits

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