What innovation or opportunities have arisen in your business?

Opportunities and Innovation

You may take our lives, but you will never take our freedom!

Mmmm, well, that’s not really what’s happened over the last 15 months with Covid and all that we have endured as a nation, and to a certain extent as one humanity. When you throw the ongoing impacts of Brexit into the mix as well, I suppose there is some belief at least that the latter part of the headline might actually be true!

However, here in the UK things are beginning to look up. The vaccine roll out continues at pace, being in the 45-49 year old category, I’ve just booked my first jab, I think I may well have had it by the time you get round to reading this! We’re able to go and have a beverage in a pub garden, we can meet outside as either two households or six people and we can finally have our hair cut. The last time my barnet was trimmed was the start of November, just before lockdown 2! It’s a mess and it’s got a lot more grey in it.

And yet despite all of this in our private lives, for many in the food and drink industry your working lives may have changed a bit but the demand for products and services has been maintained, although for some of you, that may be in a slightly different format.

With change comes innovation, and in the UK and a few other countries around the world, with innovation comes tax relief. Now not all innovation is worthy of tax relief, but there are significant elements that do reach the criteria for tax relief.

Developing new products, processes, materials and devices, or significantly improving existing ones could all qualify. The bar requires that a competent professional operating in the field couldn’t have readily deduced the solution, or a group of people having a discussion couldn’t come up with it quickly. Ultimately if it required significant thinking time, then there is some scope to claiming.

It could be that during the pandemic, shortages existed in the supply chain and yet demand for your product continued. If you had to significantly adapt a recipe, by going beyond an established substitution of one product for another and you had to experiment to ensure that there were no discernible differences between the end products, and this required, research and batch trials, you could have a claim.

It’s not just in food and beverage production that there is scope to claim, it’s the development of machinery, processing equipment, cookers, dryers. How you grow the crops and develop new varietals that may be more hardy or resilient to pests, need less fertiliser or treatment during the year.

It can be a real pain trying to establish for yourself whether you think what you have done meets the criteria. There are pages and pages of notes on HMRC’s website, if you’ve never looked, if I’ve piqued your interest you can go to HMRC Internal Manuals or just search for “CIRD80000” in Google or Bing.

Or you could just be brave and say, I don’t need to know that level of detail for myself, I just want to talk to someone about our project or projects, that does know that level of detail because that’s what they do. Well, you’re in the right place, right now.

Book a “Find out in 15 minutes” discovery call with me at https://calendly.com/cooden/discovery-website , there’s no obligation, if you just want to find out if you might be able to claim and go and do it for yourself, be my guest. Good luck! Speak Soon!