HMRC have issued a consultation document "Improving access to R&D tax credits for small business". 

This consultation focuses on the four main areas that drive claims to R & D relief:

  • Awareness. Are key decision makers in small companies aware of the relief?
  • Design. Are the rules appropriate for small companies?
  • Understanding Do decision makers in small companies understand the rules, how they apply to the company, and the claims process?
  • Administration. Does the process operate smoothly (speed, and ease of use) for small companies?

HMRC is using the consultation to explore different ways of providing guidance, rather than simply upgrading the current material and it asks:

  • Should we provide guidance in new forms – as interactive flowcharts or applications?
  • Should it be organised according to how the legislation for the credits is arranged, or follow events in a company’s lifecycle?

It was announced in the Autumn Statement 2014 that HMRC will introduce a formal process of advance assurance for small companies claiming R&D relief for the first time. Smaller companies making their first claim will be able to approach the R&D Units in advance and discuss the claim. Companies will supply brief information in a standard template, usually followed by a telephone (or in some cases, face to face) discussion.

  • HMRC is seeking your views on how the assurances might best be delivered, to meet their objectives.

The condoc is here: Improving access to R & D tax credits for small business.

Consultation closes on 27 February 2015.

Click here to go back to Nichola's SME Tax update 21 January 2015