HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced that R&D claims submitted on or after 1 August 2023 will require more supporting information through an additional online form. This means that companies will need to provide more structured details than ever before about their R&D projects in order to qualify for tax relief. This is part of a wider series of measures being introduced by HMRC to crackdown on rogue R&D claims, which also includes a significant ramping up of enquiry activity.
Amongst other things, the new online form requires details of the main senior internal R&D contact responsible for making the claim within the company as well as any other agents involved in the process. This is aimed at ensuring increased transparency and that R&D compliance is being managed at a senior level within an organisation. The reporting standard will apply to accounting periods that have already ended.
The form also requires companies to provide details of qualifying expenditure and information about a range of the R&D projects undertaken. Companies with up to three projects will need to detail them all, whereas those with a larger number of projects will be able to provide a sample, broadly representing the majority of the claim value.
In reality, this is still some way short of what competent professionals should already be doing in considering R&D claims on clients’ behalves. It certainly falls a long way short of what we, at Magma, would expect to produce in support of all filed claims. With reporting standards tightening and HMRC enquiry activity spiralling, it has never been more important to do things properly.
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