lady at desk writing a report

While HMRC provides guidelines for putting a research and development (R&D) tax credits claim together, it doesn’t provide a standard format or template to work from. When companies attempt to claim themselves, they can end up doing it haphazardly and unsuccessfully.

A solid technical narrative starts by collecting the right data

We’ve found a process that works. Averaging £54,000 per claim, our robust methods have enabled a 100% success rate, meaning every claim we’ve submitted to the HMRC has been paid.

R&D tax credits made Easy

When presenting your R&D work to HMRC in a technical report, we like to make things Easy. An HMRC tax inspector (or more than one if it’s a large claim) will review your claim and ultimately decide if you’re due R&D tax credits.

They’re looking for certain things but also red flags, e.g. mentioning search engine optimisation (SEO) is a big no-no and is likely to prompt HMRC enquiries. HMRC doesn’t consider SEO an advance in science or technology, but more “marketing”. 

Our mission is to make the decision to sign off your R&D tax credits claim an Easy one for the inspector(s) to make.

Requirements for a technical report

HMRC has complex legal definitions of what R&D is for tax purposes, and a technical report needs to tick those boxes and demonstrate how you:

  • looked for an advance in science or technology
  • had to overcome a scientific or technological uncertainty
  • tried to overcome this uncertainty
  • uncertainty wasn’t readily deducible by a professional in the field
  • sought an advance in expertise within your industry as a whole and not just your company

We bring those green flags out as simply as possible and ensure the inspector(s) aren’t left with lingering doubts that make them want to challenge a claim. 

A robust technical narrative is an essential component of a successful claim

Creating a compelling R&D narrative involves our skilled technical report writers striking a balance between:

  1. making your R&D activities simple for the inspector(s) to understand (it’s unlikely that they’ll be knowledgeable in your field of work)
  2. not dumbing things down so much that your R&D doesn’t sound impressive

Usually, the trickier a project was, the more likely it is that R&D took place.

A flawed technical narrative is likely to attract lengthy and costly HMRC enquiries

HMRC investigations typically take six months to a year to resolve. Not only can this delay your funding by several months, but it could also reduce your windfall, damage your relationship with HMRC, and embroil your staff in prolonged back and forths with tax inspectors. And time is money. If there’s an opportunity for a cash injection, you’ll no doubt want it as soon as possible. 

Any industry can claim R&D tax credits, and HMRC could even reward you for unsuccessful projects. You can take the first step to R&D tax credits by getting in touch with us here.