A letter from HMRC can feel not so dissimilar to getting a parking ticket.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Recently, HMRC has been shifting their focus back to R&D tax enquiries after having to momentarily pay closer attention to other departments as a result of Covid.
Is this a reason to worry? Certainly not. Are there ways to maintain a positive relationship and safeguard any claims? Absolutely. So long as your claim has been prepared with the necessary due diligence, care and attention you shouldn’t have any concerns. If however, you do have concerns about a claim that you’ve previously submitted with another provider or internally, then don’t panic. We’re very happy to step in and assist you in advising on your best next steps.
As an R&D Tax Specialist ourselves, we want to reassure you that an enquiry is not a cause for concern. HMRC have expressly stated that they are implementing a weighted risk-assessed methodology when selecting claims to review. It may be that your claim falls in a particular size and industry, which means HMRC would like to explore your claim without having a direct cause for concern about its factual basis. We actually think that the attention to scrutiny is a good development and that it is key for the future success and longevity of the scheme.
Are there measures you could be taking? Are you aware of the enquiry process and timeline? Do you know what to look for in a specialist provider? Are you aware of any potential risks?
We understand facing an enquiry can be a stressful and time-consuming experience. It doesn’t have to be for you, however. Much like we wouldn’t recommend anyone to sit in court without legal counsel, we wouldn’t recommend facing your enquiry without first seeking expert advice. We work with you, your accountants, and HMRC to ensure quick and amicable resolutions. Ensuring your claim is defended in the most robust way possible.
Our HMRC Support Team and Partners have built relationships with HMRC so that they are well equipped to manage your communications and relationship. Indeed many of our team used to sit on the other side of the desk, and are experienced in dealing with enquiries from HMRC’s perspective also.
If you’re a company that is facing an enquiry (or a professional services provider or accountancy in the process of advising clients doing so), there’s absolutely no need to view it as an immediate cause for alarm.
Whether it be by advising, analysing, responding or resolving: we’d love to help.
For more information, please fill out the form below to receive our R&D Tax Enquiry Prevention Whitepaper.