HMRC had indicated in previous communications that they would change certain aspects of the R&D claims process to ensure that businesses in need of funds were able to receive them promptly.

They allowed for more leniency on two criteria for claims such as the “Going Concern” test (which ensures the R&D credit recipient is still operating when the credit is received) and the filing deadlines (which allow claimants to make retrospective claims only as far as two years prior).

Similarly, they committed to reducing the amount of time taken to pay out the R&D tax credit. While many close to this matter will be aware that HMRC haven’t always been able to maintain the 28 day SLA that they are committed to, this time it appears that they have reached this target.

We received communication today that HMRC are now paying out all claims (both SME and RDEC claims) within 28 days of receipt. This is a significant shift in claim processing efficiency and is impressive given the operational upheaval no doubt that HMRC themselves have been dealing with since the outbreak of the virus.