HMRC is increasing from one to two months the time it takes to pay out on R&D tax relief requests.
Due to an increase in fraudulent or incorrectly filled-out applications, small firms may have to wait longer to get R&D tax relief.
The taxman is requesting further details to verify the validity of the R&D tax credit claims made by small and medium-sized enterprises, which totaled £5.9 billion in the year ending in April.
In the year leading up to April, fraudulent claims grew to 4.9% of all claims made by smaller enterprises, at an estimated cost of £469 million.
This increased from £336 million (3.6%) of all claims the prior year.
According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the price of the reliefs will rise from £7.7 billion in 2021–22 to £11.9 billion in 2026–27.
Rishi Sunak, the chancellor at the time, was said to seek to restrict which businesses may get tax incentives for research and development since smaller businesses had spent less money on R&D since the tax credit was established in 2000. This was reported back in March.
How to ensure your R&D tax relief gets paid
- Pre-notify your intention to claim no later than six months before the financial year-end. This will apply for accounting periods beginning on or after April 1, 2023.
- If your accountant is unsure about claiming research and development tax credits, there are specialist advisers:
- Do not include expenses that are ineligible for relief. Broadly the following R&D activities qualify:
– Software development
– Designing new products
– Precision engineering
– Products with new materials
– Enhancing existing products or technologies
– Typical R&D expenditures can cover staff costs and subcontractor costs