Northern Ireland firms claim £55m in R&D Tax Credits
Article taken from Belfast Telegraph Online 28.09.18
Northern Ireland companies have claimed £55m from the UK Government in research and development (R&D) tax credits in 2017.
The figures released by HMRC show that the average received by companies per R&D tax claim was £46,000. Despite this, there has been a slight decrease in companies here claiming R&D tax credits from the previous year.
The figures highlight that Northern Ireland is still behind many other regions of the UK, with south-east England having secured £660m in R&D tax claims and West Midlands claiming back £295m.
Overall, it accounted for just 3% of total claims and 2% of the total tax benefits claimed.
The Momentum Group, a tax credits advisory firm based in Bangor, welcomed the results but said more companies could avail of the tax relief.
The firm has worked with more than 500 companies across a range of sectors over the last decade. It assists in a range of areas, including investing in understanding and optimising R&D expenditure. The team includes accountancy, business, commercial and ex-HMRC technical experts.
Group managing director Tom Verner said: "While HMRC statistics show many companies in NI are wakening up to the benefits of R&D tax credits, the potential is far greater.
"In our experience, there are still so many local businesses that are either not aware of R&D tax credits, incorrectly think they do not qualify or feel they lack the necessary experience to submit a claim.
"In fact, many companies are not claiming their full legitimate entitlement. For NI to be truly competitive, it is vital that companies recognise the potential of this very accessible UK Government incentive. At the very least we should be on par with the rest of the UK.
"Given the potential, we find it startling that more companies aren't claiming, and we have made it our mission to highlight the incentive, particularly on occasions like today when regional results put Northern Ireland at the bottom of the R&D league table."