HMRC has found that half of all research and development (R&D) claims by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not compliant.  This means that they are either not genuine or do not meet the government’s definition of R&D.

The findings, which are based on a sample of 1,000 claims, come as the government faces increasing pressure to crack down on R&D tax avoidance.

The government paid out £5.1 billion in R&D tax relief and credits in 2021-22, and most of that went to SMEs.

The most common reasons cited for non-compliance are:

  • Failing to meet the definition of R&D
  • Not having the necessary documentation to support the claim
  • Overstating the amount of R&D expenditure

HMRC is now stepping up its enforcement efforts to clamp down on R&D tax avoidance. Businesses that are found to be making non-compliant claims could be liable for penalties and interest.

So, if you’re an SME that’s thinking about making an R&D claim, be careful.  Make sure you understand the rules and that you have all the right paperwork.  Otherwise, you might find yourself in deep water.

Contact us

Our tax team’s focus remains in ensuring R&D claims are legitimately maximised.  If you would like advice on an R&D tax relief claim, be it past, present, or future, our team will be more than happy to help. Get in touch below.

The Team

Our experienced and approachable team are on-hand to assist you, please get in touch below: