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Simon Warne, Tax Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill

Simon Warne, Tax Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill

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R&D tax benefit help from HMRC welcomed by Kent tax experts

Simon Warne, Tax Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill

Simon Warne, Tax Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill

Kent’s innovators and entrepreneurs have been given a helping hand by the tax man following news that HMRC is implementing a two-year plan to increase the take-up of research and development (R&D) tax relief.

Small companies with a turnover under £2 million and fewer than 50 employees, can now seek advance assurance on R&D tax relief from HMRC direct or via their tax advisers, news which has been welcomed by tax experts at Crowe Clark Whitehill. 

Once the potential R&D tax relief claim has been discussed with HMRC, the claim will not be enquired into for a three-year period, providing the company adheres to the scheme’s guidance.

The plan announced by the Treasury is designed to making it easier for small businesses investing in research and development to apply, and at the same time raise awareness of the relief amongst small businesses.

Simon Warne, Tax Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill, the national audit, tax and advisory firm with offices in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, believes HMRC’s move will encourage companies to invest in costly new product development by reducing the amount of corporation tax payable on profits.

He said: “With an estimated 90 per cent of all Kent businesses being classified as small this is good news for the county.

“Throughout Kent there are many companies striving to bring new products and innovation to the market, whether in new technologies or life sciences. This move will be a welcome boost for many businesses, many of which might be unaware of the scale of the tax savings on offer.

“Local companies will now have greater certainty over what they can claim for and this will enable them to plan their finances effectively.”

SME R&D relief is a super deduction, which allows an eligible company to reduce its profits chargeable to corporation tax by 230 per cent of their qualifying R&D expenditure.

Research by HMRC has shown that for every £1 of tax foregone by R&D tax relief, it stimulates between £1.53 and £2.35 of additional R&D investment.

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