2. Review your claim methodology if you claim regularly
Over the years, we’ve seen many claims where a single eligibility value has been applied by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) phase. Whereas the RIBA phases of a project are very helpful to guide any R&D claim review, it’s unlikely that you can replicate the eligibility pattern within a phase across your working sectors or all of your projects. The content of each claim you submit will differ depending on the particulars of the projects you're claiming for. Therefore you need to adjust the approach to make sure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities as the project unfolds. For example, we see numerous examples in phase 5 where technical challenges have arisen due to regulatory or client changes. This resulted in eligible work carried out. If you apply a blanket approach via RIBA phases, this could result in missing this work from your claim. Similarly, you cannot take a blanket approach to assume that all work is qualifying based on RIBA phases. The R&D scheme is constantly changing, and it is important to review if the work undertaken is qualifying to avoid compliance checks from HMRC.
Therefore, we recommend that you review your claim methodology regularly if you claim every year and remain open-minded to refreshing the assessment strategy where you feel it may be deficient. The last thing you want is being unable to justify claiming a project when an Inspector asks a question because you rolled forward too many assumptions in your assessment.