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Five reasons to review your R&D tax credit claim

Since we launched our partnership with ForrestBrown, they’ve secured over £4.75 million in R&D tax credits for DBA members. It’s been fantastic to hear about the positive impact this has had on members’ businesses, and to see those who hadn’t considered themselves eligible for R&D tax credits benefiting from this member service. After all, whatever you’re designing, there’s possibly a technology element to your innovation that means you should be getting the maximum benefit from this annual cash injection.

When it comes to R&D tax credits, there are number of things I tend to ask members:

Are you claiming R&D tax credits?

If not, have you looked into your eligibility? (This handy guide helps explain more and these testimonials prove why it’s worth it.)

If you are, could your R&D tax credit be even better?

And could it be used more efficiently by channeling it into long-term R&D projects that develop a culture of innovation, that allow bolder projects, grow your talent or produce better products?

Did you know that as well as helping businesses new to R&D tax credit claims, ForrestBrown will also review members’ claims prepared by other advisers? If your business is already claiming R&D tax credits, here are five reasons from ForrestBrown on why to consider reviewing it.

One: Do you deserve more?

charles-yjxay2p_zj4-unsplashThe value of your R&D tax credit claim will be determined not only by the extent of your R&D, but also by the tax and industry knowledge of your advisers. Claims can be significantly undervalued if they are prepared by someone who doesn’t identify the full extent of what could be included. ForrestBrown can retrospectively uplift these.

Two: Are you protected from risk?

dylan-collette-azm_fgqdgia-unsplashNo-one wants a knock on their door from the tax man. And when an R&D tax credit claim is well prepared, there’s no reason why it should be cause for one. But even an honest mistake within a self-prepared claim could spark an HMRC enquiry. What’s more is that HMRC’s expectations have changed, meaning that even if you’ve had a claim processed without a hitch in the past, it now may be subject to extra scrutiny. Has your adviser updated you on these changes?

Three: Is your claim taking up a lot of your time?

andrew-seaman-euduho5yyag-unsplashAre you pleased with the value of your R&D tax credit, but not so happy about the amount of work you had to put into it? Have you paid an adviser to submit the claim but then been expected to do the legwork yourself? With ForrestBrown, you can expect to invest about a day’s worth of time from across your business – and you’ll never be asked to fill in a spreadsheet or write up your projects yourself.


Four: Could your record keeping be improved?

screenshot-2019-09-04-at-12-10-23As well as preparing claims, ForrestBrown can advise on improving internal processes such as record keeping to optimise future claims. Good record-keeping is essential when you’re regularly making use of these incentives, and is expected from HMRC. Keeping these records shouldn’t be tiresome and should help to increase the value of your claim. This helps you think strategically about R&D tax credits to ensure you get the most from them for years to come.

Five: Are the terms of your engagement transparent?

sven-brandsma-xv0bvfv14lc-unsplashForrestBrown work on a simple contingency basis, so they don’t get paid unless you receive a benefit – there are no hidden charges.

Other advisers are not always so straightforward and some may lock you into a multi-year contract, rather than rely on good service to encourage repeat business.

A review will help you understand whether you are getting a good deal.

DBA member and CEO of Uniform, Nick Howe had this to say about their claim review with ForrestBrown and how it helped them:

“We were claiming on our own, through accountants. And while that felt successful, we didn’t realise we could claim so much more. Working with ForrestBrown has been quite eye opening in seeing how far we could go, in a way that’s robust and defensible. They almost doubled our R&D tax credit , helped us interpret the rules, and shaved a third off the time we spent on the claim.”

To arrange your free review

Email at the DBA to request a call with the design sector experts at ForrestBrown. They will arrange a time to suit you to answer your questions and arrange your free no-obligation R&D tax credits review.

Who are ForrestBrown

ForrestBrown is the largest specialist R&D tax credit consultancy in the UK. They have a multidisciplinary team that includes chartered tax advisers and accountants; sector specialists, lawyers and former HMRC inspectors. This combination provides their clients with unrivalled technical firepower.

Image credits:

Stellrweb | Unsplash
Charles | Unsplash
Dylan Collette | Unsplash
Andrew Seaman | Unsplash
Bernard Hermant | Unsplash
Sven Brandsma | Unsplash


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