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Government Consults on R&D Tax Credits

Government Consults on R&D Tax Credits

R&D tax credits are the single largest Government support for business investment in R&D and HMG would like to make the scheme easier to understand, and to ensure that all SMEs that could benefit from the scheme are doing so. The consultation is aimed at improving guidance for this scheme and to seek comments about the design of an advance assurance service which will help companies claiming for the first time. The consultation runs until 27 February.

The main consultation document together with a short summary is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-access-to-research-and-development-tax-credits-for-small-business. Responses can be e-mailed to nalini.arora@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk who is logging replies. Alternatively, there is an online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HMRCTaxReliefsconsultation  HMRC will also be holding meetings to get the views of small businesses. If UKSPA members would like to be involved in these meetings please do make contact.


The SME scheme provides tax relief and in some cases, for companies not in profit, payable credit at a per centage of the allowable R&D expenditure. Essentially, it is available to any company in any sector with fewer than 500 full time employees undertaking R&D directed towards seeking an advance in overall knowledge or capability through the resolution of scientific uncertainty.  In the year ending March 2012 over 13,000 SMEs claimed a total of £600m – with many companies took advantage of the removal of the requirement to spend a minimum of £10k of R&D during their accounting year before being able to claim.  The total rate of tax relief under the SME scheme increases from 225% to 230% from April 2015. 

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this we will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. 

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