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The Importance Of Working With Specialists: Protecting Your Business When Choosing Your R&D Tax Credits Advisor

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Nico Fell

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The Importance Of Working With Specialists: Protecting Your Business When Choosing Your R&D Tax Credits Advisor

Tightening rules

Like any marketplace that experiences an increase in demand for services, the number of companies providing ‘professional’ R&D Tax Credit advice has grown significantly. These so-called specialists are offering to provide businesses with R&D Tax Credit advice, but signing up with an inexperienced, unqualified advisor could have damaging consequences for your business.

R&D Tax Credits are a valuable source of funding, but to optimise this fully, you must choose your specialist advisor wisely. Statistics from HMRC show that NI businesses have claimed a total of £75m R&D Tax Credits this financial year. Whilst this is promising, Northern Ireland accounted for just 2.7 per cent of total claims and 1.7 per cent of the total tax benefits claimed. This highlights there is still a wealth of potential available across the NI business sector.

It is increasingly alarming that many companies are being misled and misinformed about the R&D Tax Credit initiative. Businesses can find themselves repeatedly contacted by advisors, promising that ‘everything you do qualifies’, it is a stark warning sign that all is not as it seems.

There are still many local businesses that are not aware of R&D Tax Credits, or incorrectly think they do not qualify and are not claiming their full legitimate entitlement.

When it comes to choosing your R&D Tax Credit partner it pays to be cautious and do your due diligence prior to signing on the dotted line. Before engaging with any advisor, it is crucial that you ask for references and take time to understand what is included in the fee offered, along with any hidden costs i.e. investigation fees. A reputable R&D Tax Credit advisory firm should always be able to provide evidence of expert knowledge and insight into legislative changes.

The legislation pertaining to R&D Tax Credits is complex and HMRC’s criteria for qualifying activities and expenditure is very specific. It requires a R&D Tax Credit specialist with technical expertise across a range of sectors to truly understand the detailed processes.

To date, HMRC has identified and prevented £300m in fraudulent R&D Tax Credit claims. It is becoming increasingly common for advisory companies to leave clients unsupported when an investigation from HMRC arises – at Momentum, we regularly pick up the pieces of the horror stories.

As a member of HMRC’s R&D Consultative Committee, HMRC’s high level of scrutiny is highly commended by Momentum. Our approach has always been to apply the highest professional standards to every claim we prepare, resulting in a 100% success rate across more than 1000 claims with over £135m in R&D tax relief approved.

As a multi-award-winning R&D Tax Credit advisory firm, working alongside entrepreneurial accountants, trusted financial advisors, financial institutions and other professional organisations, we specialise in identifying all qualifying R&D activities to optimise the true value of R&D tax relief available. Our expert team ensures every claim is thoroughly investigated to meet HMRC compliance, preventing the misuse of R&D Tax Credit relief.

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