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More R&D claims than ever are coming under the scrutiny of HMRC compliance checks.
If you’ve had a claim rejected and need support, we can help.
In our 15 years’ of working on R&D tax relief we’ve successfully defended enquiries at every level, working with claimants and HMRC to find resolutions in even the most complicated cases.
Stop worrying about your check and start speaking to a team who can put your mind at ease.
Jerry Woodhouse Managing Director, Logistex
It can be difficult to identify which parts of our work relate to the scheme, and as a small company dealing with some really large clients, we just don’t have time to decipher HMRC’s rules for the scheme. Using MPA has simplified the whole process. Over the years we have worked together we have built a level of trust which allows us to leave the claim to them and focus our time on our next project.
The government loses billions of pounds a year to both deliberate and accidental fraud across our tax systems. Now there’s renewed focus on tackling this issue.
More fraud investigators have been recruited, extra funds have been allocated to HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, and more spot checks are happening than ever before.
Spot checks and subsequent investigations have always happened – with R&D tax relief and many other benefits – and though this can cause concern, genuinely R&D-active companies shouldn’t worry about them.
A good R&D tax advisor will ensure a claim is robust before submission AND be willing to defend it if queries are raised by HMRC. Unfortunately, we know that not all advisors do or will.
That’s why we offer HMRC compliance check defence as a standalone service to claimants who need help but don’t know where to turn.Get in touch
More about Compliance Checks
Not sure why you’ve received an enquiry notification, or even why you need help defending your claim?
Compliance check is more modern terminology, but HMRC enquiry can also be used to describe what happens when HMRC requests more information relating to an R&D tax relief claim.
While they're usually not something to worry about, they can be time-consuming to resolve; there's an extensive list of questions to answer, potentially in several rounds, and they can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to conclude. And your relief won't be paid until a verdict on the validity of your claim is reached.
When your R&D tax relief claim is filed with HMRC, a tax inspector will look at how much you’re claiming, against what, through which scheme, and - to some extent - compared to sector averages.
Claims include financial data, technical information about the R&D, and other things – like whether you’ve had a grant - and if any of these look unusual, if things don’t match up, or if more details are needed, an enquiry – or compliance check – can be raised by the inspector.
This isn’t automatically negative; HMRC isn’t looking to penalise genuine claimants, but to monitor the system to ensure honest companies undertaking qualifying activities receive the rewards they deserve; and that those who aren’t genuine, don't.
There is no guaranteed way to avoid a compliance check, however, the risk is reduced if what you submit in the first place is robust.
Because we build a strong team of specialists around our clients, we're confident that the proper financial, technical, and legislative checks have been done before anything gets to HMRC.
In the case that a compliance check on a claim we've filed does get raised, however, we will liaise with HMRC and the client to ensure a resolution is reached as quickly as possible as part of our standard fee.
We offer a defence service to businesses who didn't use our team to claim because we believe in innovation and the role this relief plays in encouraging more companies to push their field forward.
This includes re-checking your original claim to ensure accuracy, responding to the questions raised quickly and effectively, and helping you through the process with record keeping, analysis, reporting, and impact assessments.
There are three reasons businesses facing a compliance check should seek support:
1: Knowledge and experience
Submitting a robust, accurate claim is complicated.
If you're an MPA client, qualified tax advisors, accountants, sector analysts, and business consultants come together to ensure everything is water-tight before we agree to submit a claim, because we don't want HMRC to have any concerns about it either!
However, we know that not all advisors work in the same way.
If you're facing a compliance check/HMRC enquiry and don't feel confident that you have that kind of team supporting you, then you need to find one.
We've worked with HMRC for nearly 20 years, and understand how to present complicated information in a way that resonates.
In a defence scenario, this reduces the chance of questions not being properly answered and provides the inspector with some reassurance that they're liaising with a helpful claimant.
For clients, hours, if not days, can be saved by having an advisor deal with the defence instead.
The ultimate goal of defending an enquiry is to receive the funds you believe can be claimed. Getting good support can make the difference between a successful defence and receiving nothing at all.
No defence service can guarantee 100% success, but we can promise that we'll do what we can to ensure you receive the maximum payout possible under your unique circumstances.