When Time is Money – do you choose a 9-iron or a pitching wedge?

If you are the owner of an SME you’re most likely always on the go and quite probably subscribe to the adage that: time is money.

In this article I’m asking you to stop, just for a minute or two and consider whether an application for Research & Development Tax Relief, which will, admittedly, require some more time away from the day to day running of the business, might end up providing quite a substantial windfall.

If your business has been involved in any kind of research or development, whether to advance that business or as a sub-contractor to another enterprise and you can identify specific expenses incurred as a result, you may be able to make an application for R & D Tax Relief from HMRC. However, how do you choose under which section of this very broad ranging legislation you should apply?

9-Iron or Pitching Wedge?

Perhaps the most time consuming element of any round of golf, certainly if you exclude the walking from shot to shot, is the long minutes spent weighing up which club to use, dependant on the lie of the land – and of the ball – to maximise your advantage and, hopefully, build a good score.

The decision is always dependant on the challenges or obstacles that may be placed in your way. You spend the time deliberating, cogitating and evaluating your options in the hope that you’ll make a decision that will be right. In top class professional golf, those are the decisions that can make the difference between winning and losing and how much prize money you do or don’t receive in each competition; or indeed – whether you win gold or silver! Frequently commentators allude to a player having gained an advantage via a good club selection that demonstrated a better understanding of the course than his or her opponents.

A number of elements in this scenario come in to play when if you begin to consider the Pros and Cons of submitting an application for R&D Tax Relief.

It could take less time than you imagined

Just as a round of golf presents a multitude of different challenges, so are there many different types of application under which HMRC currently offer tax relief for research and development projects.

Without doubt, if you were going to examine them all to discover which best suited your particular project and costs and then sit down to fill in all the detail required, your business might start to miss you and you could quickly get fed up with the sheer amount of time it would take you. The upshot then is, potentially, that you just give up, thinking: I’ve got better things to spend my time on. However, just as Rory McIlroy or Justin Rose would, if caught in the rough: you need to keep your eyes on the prize and be confident that, if you stick with it and take the next step a solution can be found to move things forward.

Cooden Tax Consulting is your experienced R&D Tax Relief caddie. We’ve walked and played this course dozens of times and are more than willing to invest time on your behalf to ensure your business is top of the leader board in your market.

Using our expertise will save you wasting a lot your time; although, to maximise the benefit to you, we would ask you to take a little time to confer with us initially.

This is all that’s needed

To adequately and accurately assess what parts of your operation might fit the bill and which expenses you have incurred that could form the basis for an R&D Tax Relief application we’d need, in most cases, no more than a couple of days – visiting your premises, looking at your paperwork and discussing options with you. Essentially gaining a good understanding of the lie of the land.

It might be that that time was split between a visit to you and a more formal discussion, either at our offices or on the phone, but because we understand how valuable your time is, it won’t drag on and on and, if we do determine that an opportunity exists to recoup some of your outlay from the tax man, you’ll have a clear and simple proposal from us in no time at all. After that, we’ll drive the application forward and make sure we keep our eye on the ball.

We take on the burden of the time consuming part

Of course, the longer term work: getting all the paperwork filled out, ordering it correctly, making copies and preparing the submission to be forward to HMRC is what we take on, on your behalf. Again though, because this is a field we specialise in and understand well, at Cooden Tax Consulting, that will be time well spent and always with your best interests to the fore.

We don’t speculate on whether such and such a piece of research or development might or might not merit an application. We know what will and what won’t meet the government’s criteria and we know which of many different types of application, will best suit your business and therefore be the most likely to succeed.

The Option is open to many types of business

The good news is, R&D Tax Relief isn’t limited to scientific lab work or high tech IT software development. Improvements in existing industrial practices, development in machinery capability, even experiments in altering brewing recipes or processes to offer a broader range of craft beer or just a better product; as well, very significantly, as projects which are seeking ways to limit any detrimental impact of your business on the environment, can all qualify.

Once we have a strategy in place and know which direction to move in, avoiding the traps and pitfalls of the R&D process, you’ll find, when a little bit of spare time presents itself that you can play that round of golf you’ve been looking forward to or, alternatively, just enjoy a good walk, safe in the knowledge that the application we’ve helped you with is highly likely to result in a celebratory drink or two at the 19th hole.