5 ways technology will enhance your R&D claim

Did you know you can claim money on your innovative projects in science and technology? The UK R&D tax credit scheme is a government incentive designed to stimulate scientific and technological advances through tax reliefs. Startups claim are, on average, £53,663 and, in London, this rises to £81,000.

Though the scheme continues to reward innovation, the claim process itself has made little technological progress over the years. However, with the introduction of several reforms, including the new Additional Information Form (online g-form), the use of technology in preparing a claim has become far more important. Technology will not only speed up your R&D tax claim but also ensure it’s both compliant and optimised.

Become more self-sufficient

For a long time, the R&D claims process historically centred around advisors using conventional methods, such as lengthy interviews and endless email chains, to document the information required for making a claim. This arduous process is often used to justify a high-cost service.

Today, a chief finance officer wouldn’t dream of closing their books without a combination of a skilled finance team and a modern finance platform, so it’s surprising how little supporting technology has so far been introduced into the R&D claiming process.

Transitioning to a technology platform enables businesses to take control of their R&D claim without overreliance on third parties. Technology can enable self-sufficiency and improve the overall experience by providing transparency and education throughout the process, while also reducing the cost of making a claim.

In order to save money, businesses should strive to reduce their annual claiming expenses instead of increasing them. iKnowa switched from a conventional provider to our service and found it to be a great improvement. Thanks to our platform, especially the coordination tool, as well as their dedicated claims manager, they had a hassle-free experience. Our solution also provided the transparency and clarity they were seeking after their previous provider. They were able to save a total of 92 hours using our solution.

Benchmark against aggregated and peer data to maximise your claim

Collecting your R&D tax credit cash is always significant for startups and growing businesses, but it’s difficult to know if your claim has reached its full potential.

A technology platform can help determine whether your claim is the right size by providing additional information through systematically aggregating and comparing data across companies. Specialist advisors then review the information, draft your claim and gauge it against the line item level and in the aggregate to compare to relevant peers.

Even the most experienced traditional claim advisors can’t offer this benefit. A specialist R&D platform can access aggregated and anonymised data from users to benchmark a business against other companies, ensuring claims reach their full potential and the businesses receive the payout they are due. For example, at EmpowerRD, we retrospectively evaluated Bloom&Wild’s claim and increased the credit they received from HMRC by 290%.

Involve your innovators in the claims process

In an effort to reduce fraudulent claims, HMRC is introducing stricter compliance measures, which will result in companies being required to provide more in-depth information to accurately demonstrate their R&D activities when claiming.

This means it’s even more essential that the staff integral to your R&D projects contribute to the supporting evidence of your claim to make the strongest possible case. The traditional claim process would involve interviewing the tech team, which is no small task, especially as your company continues to grow and your projects become more elaborate. Technology removes the need for strenuous effort to collect information while also enabling collaborative working to help optimise your claim with the necessary detail required to thwart HMRC inspection.

Our client Birdie switched from their previous provider as the business and their investment in R&D grew, and their projects became more complex. The right technology allowed their team of 10 engineers to work collectively on the claim, and build out the details in a more time-efficient way.

Integration with the new Additional Information Form

The Additional Information Form is now replacing the current R&D claim report, but it requires extra details to process the R&D benefit. Now, each company has to submit an online form along with their CT600, which will increase their administrative workload.

If you don’t use software for claiming, you may be at a disadvantage. Advisors who use technology have prepared their platforms to match the new form’s structure and process. They have also integrated their platforms with the new online form, meaning that it will take one click to get your information onto the new form, which will significantly reduce administrative work and lower the cost of using tech-based advisors for your claim. By using this process, the risk of HMRC opening an enquiry can be reduced as it eliminates the possibility of human error while inputting data into the new form.

Collect your data on an ongoing basis

Another advantage of using a platform is that it facilitates businesses in building their claims throughout the year. Birdie collects evidence on an ongoing basis whilst the engineering team works through project specifics, in order to provide a more in-depth claim.

Technology enhances the overall claiming process for companies as they continue to grow. The platform offers transparency and enables the use of data to ensure your claim is benchmarked and optimised each year. It also cuts down the time and effort required to compile a claim by allowing your team to work simultaneously on providing supporting evidence, as well as considerably lowering the fee.

EmpowerRD provides expert knowledge and guidance to growing businesses making R&D tax credit claims. We want to help you get the most out of your claim, for a fraction of the cost of traditional providers. By combining a team of expert advisors with an industry-leading platform, EmpowerRD makes the claiming process more reliable, time-efficient and cost-effective for innovative businesses. Speak to one of our experts to find out more about our hybrid offering to maximise your claim.

2023 & Beyond. Unlocking UK Tech Growth through R&D

2023 and Beyond: Unlocking UK Tech Growth Through R&D

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