Loading…
Ambient _wave_ Buzzacott _top_20_accountancy _firm _for _charities _corporates _individuals
Read time: 6 minutes
Last updated: 16 Jun 2022
On this page

Navigating R&D claim processing delays

Due to a large number of fraudulent R&D claims, HMRC will be conducting a review that will result in claims being subject to processing delays. Here’s what your business can do to expediate your claims and avoid being caught up in this review process.

HMRC confirmed that the extra labour required to assess applications more extensively has increased its processing times, from a previous 28-day timeline to a now 40-day timeline.

For the past two years, the National Audit Office (NAO) has raised concerns about the likelihood of fraud in the Research & Development (R&D) tax programme, resulting in HMRC's accounts being approved. While it's encouraging to see HMRC tackling this problem, it's also troubling that the scope of the possible fraud is so large that it's affecting legitimate claimants. Hopefully, this processing time stretch is only temporary, but it appears that businesses will have to plan for processing delays in the future.

About the author

Iain Butler

+44 (0)20 7556 1343
butleri@buzzacott.co.uk
LinkedIn

HMRC confirmed that the extra labour required to assess applications more extensively has increased its processing times, from a previous 28-day timeline to a now 40-day timeline.

For the past two years, the National Audit Office (NAO) has raised concerns about the likelihood of fraud in the Research & Development (R&D) tax programme, resulting in HMRC's accounts being approved. While it's encouraging to see HMRC tackling this problem, it's also troubling that the scope of the possible fraud is so large that it's affecting legitimate claimants. Hopefully, this processing time stretch is only temporary, but it appears that businesses will have to plan for processing delays in the future.

How you can minimise delays

How you can minimise delays

There are certain steps that your business can take to assist HMRC in processing claims as fast as feasible. To support its teams, HMRC requests the following: 

  • The company should submit a full tax return detailing the R&D claim spending, a report setting out the rationale for the R&D claim, a set of accounts, and the company's BACs number.
  • This information should be submitted to HMRC via their internet portal, rather than giving paper copies, that must be reconciled to earlier submissions.

The key step you can take is to ensure your claim is correct and follows the legislation to the letter. You need to ensure that your processes and checks employed in preparing any claim are communicated to HMRC via their written report. This will allow an inspector to have more confidence that the claim is valid and can be processed with minimal delay. 

Many claims reports we see are high-level or boiler-plated, which leads to inconsistencies and confusion when compared with the costs included in the submission. Now is the time to revisit your report and ensure it’s clear, concise, and discloses all of the key steps taken to prepare the claim. Investing more time in your claim documentation could save you costly processing delays.

The other major issue with many R&D claims is that the company submitting the claim is unaware of how the numbers were prepared or why specific costs are being claimed. When reviewing claim we see some advisers are helpful in preparing an R&D claim but too often they share a limited version of the workings or present a final version of the claim with limited ability for review and challenge. HMRC is aware of this issue and will be implementing a company sign-off requirement next year. In the meantime, we recommend that you get up to speed with the R&D claim requirements, so you have the skills to interrogate your claims going forward.

How we can help

How we can help

To avoid delays and reduce the likelihood of receiving questions from HMRC, our specialist R&D advisers can review your R&D claims. Our experts have backgrounds in engineering, science, and policy, allowing us to thoroughly understand the eligible work undertaken by your business.

If you’re facing an enquiry resulting from HMRC’s claim review process, Buzzacott’s dedicated R&D team is experienced in helping businesses to resolve HMRC queries. By working with us to understand your eligible activities and qualifying costs, we can provide an honest view on how best to resolve any enquiry. If you need help or want a second opinion on your options please get in touch. 

Get in touch

Get in touch

If you would like to speak to one of our R&D experts to find out more about how we can help, please get in touch via the form below.

Please complete all required fields above.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Close iconClose icon backback
Your search for "..."
did not yield any results.
... results for "..."
Search Tags