Why you should review your previous claims
HMRC has allocated extra staff to R&D tax relief compliance and is carrying out work to reduce the scale of errors and fraud within the scheme. As a result, there will be additional checks to clamp down on abuse of the relief, and HMRC has already begun issuing fraud/compliance check letters to claimants.
With these additional checks taking place, your existing claims could be at risk of investigation, even if you’ve received a cash payment or a reduction in the amount of tax paid. We strongly suggest an R&D claim review if:
- You used an unregulated boutique firm to make a claim
- You’re unaware of how the numbers were prepared or why specific costs are being claimed
- You used a simplified approach, online platform, or template to prepare a claim to speed up the process
- You’ve prepared your claim in-house and do not have the appropriate quality control checks
If you have concerns that your existing claims might be checked, the best approach is to have your claim reviewed by an independent regulated firm, such as Buzzacott, to look for issues that HMRC might challenge. Should they contain errors, a disclosure will be necessary. By making a disclosure before HMRC finds issues, your penalties and risks are significantly reduced. Should HMRC find errors beforehand, you could be liable to penalties of up to 200% of the cash payment received or unpaid tax.