Advance Assurance scheme for R&D tax credits

HMRC has recently launched a new scheme that is meant to help first time small company claimants of Research & Development (R&D) tax relief.

Under the new Advance Assurance scheme as it is called, HMRC will allow an R&D claim without further enquiry for a company’s first 3 accounting periods, which will, according to HMRC, “allow [business owners] to concentrate on their business rather than focussing on their claim”.

Advanced Assurance also gives proof that the company will get R&D tax relief which may help them secure funding. Your accountant can apply for Advance Assurance on your behalf, although HMRC will still need to contact a company director or an employee (for example, research manager).

A company can apply for Advance Assurance whether it is planning to carry out R&D, or has already carried it out. However it must not have claimed R&D tax relief before, its annual turnover must be £2 million or less and it must employ fewer than 50 people.

If a company is new and doesn’t have an annual turnover figure, it can still apply as long as it hasn’t claimed R&D tax relief before.

Noel Guilford, Principal at Guilford Accounting
Noel Guilford is the principal of Guilford Accounting a small business accountancy practice specialising in advising owner-managed businesses on current accounting, finance, and tax matters. You can reach him via email at noel@guilfordaccounting.co.uk or by phone at 01244 660866. He is the author of the 'Figure it out - an entrepreneurs guide to understanding your business numbers' which you can obtain by visiting guilfordaccounting.co.uk.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ His latest book, How to Build a Successful Business' will be published in 2018.

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