The 2016/17 Research & Development Tax Credits Statistics are here …….

Research & Development Tax Credits

And as always, they make for some very interesting reading.

Certainly, our own anecdotal evidence from the last 9 months is that there has been a significant uptake by companies who are claiming, particularly during the first 3 months of the year. The average time taken to process a claim which is 4-6 weeks, spiralled through May and June to more than 12 weeks, and for those companies claiming under RDEC, a claim we submitted in mid-May has only just been paid out in the last week of September so more than four months.

The information coming to us from HMRC R&D consultative committee has been that their teams are working as fast as they can, but they are unable to cope with the volume of claims between the end of December and through March. As the two months are respectively the end of the calendar year and the end of the tax year, they happen to be the months that a majority of companies choose for their accounting years, so the volume is hardly surprising.

The Statistics

The actual statistics themselves are a total of 39,960 claims of which 34,060 were claimed under the SME scheme and nearly 6,000 under the RDEC scheme. There is still almost a whole year for claims for this period to be submitted and when you compare the number to the final figures for the 2015/16 year of 43,040 of which 36,820 were made under the SME scheme, there are still many companies who could yet claim in 2016/17, especially when you take into account that this time last year there had been 26,255 claims filed for 2015/16, of which 21,865 were from SMEs.

These figures clearly explain the challenges that HMRC have been facing over the last 12 months where they have had to process around 57,000 claims from companies for the tax relief, it is no wonder there have been delays when previously they have only been having to clear 35-40,000 claims.

The final figure of R&D Tax Relief for all of the claims in 2015/16 was £3.7bn, so far the value of support for 2016/17 has hit £3.5bn, and for the first time the amount of support for the SME scheme (£1.8m) has been larger than the amount of support provided under the RDEC (and it’s pre-cursor the Large Company Scheme).

So what does this mean for you?

– well if you’re already claiming, you should look at the timing of your claim, if you prepare your claim before your tax liability is due, you can pay less tax then and you won’t have to wait for a substantial period of time to get your tax refund.

-if you’re not claiming it probably means that one of your competitors is, can you afford to keep missing out?

To start your claim, whether you are new to the world of R&D Tax Credits, or whether you are an existing claimant and would like some additional support, why not contact our experts now on 01424 225345 and begin your journey.