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 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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ His latest book, How to Build a Successful Business' will be published in 2018.

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