With the number of firms offering to support companies in making Research and Development Tax Relief claims increasing, the R&D working party from CIOT have drafted guidance on choosing the right advisor.
They have highlighted key areas that help to determine who may be best to provide you with this specialist service.
We are proud to say, we tick all the right boxes.
Expertise, Qualifications & Experience
We are advertised as specialists in this area, because we are just that. With a combined 22 years of experience in completing claims for clients, we have a proven track record of successful submissions. Holding Chartered qualifications in Accountancy and in Tax, we have the relevant expertise to determine eligibility for the relief, and to prepare quality and accurate reports as evidence for HMRC. Whilst we can count the number of enquiries in the last 6 years on one hand, this provides assurance to our clients that we are fully knowledgeable and skilled in this specialist area, and in making claims for a wide range of sectors.
We recently hit a milestone of saving our clients over £20 million in tax, and this number continues to grow rapidly.
Reputation, Testimonials & High Standards
We are rarely short of testimonials to share, and are regularly referred by both existing clients and other accountancy firms. We hold a reputation for going above and beyond for our clients, ensuring that deadlines are met all whilst maintaining very high standards for the report content.
We regularly hold meetings with key development staff in companies, in order to extract the level of technical detail required for a report – in previous years this would have seen us on site, such as in production warehouses, even clad with hi-viz! Doing this enables the claimant to continue operating with as minimal disruption as possible, whilst benefiting from the generous relief. It also enables us to get “under the skin” of the business and gain a deeper understanding of the nature of R&D activities taking place.
Our reputation with other accountancy firms remains very positive – we have a mutual understanding that the client should benefit from expert advice and, therefore, we are regularly engaged for an R&D only service, allowing the existing accountant to maintain their long standing relationship.
Professional Bodies, Regulations & Charges
As a Chartered Accountancy firm, we must also ensure we meet all regulatory requirements and tick the compliance boxes. The guidance emphasises the importance of checking if your R&D advisor is a member of a Professional Body, and meets required standards for Regulations. Although not critical, a report sent to HMRC that is prepared by a member of a professional body carries a significantly higher level of credibility, so further reassurance that you are receiving the right advice.
Between us we hold memberships with ICAEW, CTA and AAT, and all anti-money laundering requirements are met prior to engaging with a client. As a firm we are dedicated to continuing professional development, and regularly highlight relevant key changes to our clients. James Geary also volunteers with our tax professional body which gives him the opportunity to sit in meetings with key decision makers at HMRC on the relief – this gives him a unique insight and even a certain degree of influence on changes.
Naturally, expertise comes at a cost – as an area highlighted by the guidance, our charges are transparent, agreed in advance and are considered competitive. We differentiate ourselves from competition by not tying you into contracts, and in our experience, it’s typical for our engagements to continue for long periods of time as we provide extensive support throughout the process in comparison to some competitors who may not have as “hands-on” an approach.
Communication, Care & Support
We tailor our approach to minimise disruption and maximise the relief. On many occasions, our clients have praised us for going above and beyond whilst working with difficult circumstances such as, the key individuals having very limited time due to work pressures, and working with tight turnarounds to meet deadlines. We have been known to jump on screen shares with accountants at the eleventh hour to assist with computation changes, and be met with unavoidable interruptions and distractions in meetings and still extract the level of detail required.
One of the accountancy firms who outsource their R&D work to us have previously commented on our professional, friendly and approachable manner. In addition, they mention our open and collaborative approach to working, making every effort to keep them as the accountant up to date and providing all relevant tax records for their system.
We are proud to say that we tick all the right boxes in light of this new guidance – if you are looking for an R&D Advisor, you can trust us. We are the professionals.
Gina Gardner is a Corporate Tax Accountant specialising in R&D Tax Credits. To discuss your eligibility, please contact Gina or James Geary, Head of Corporate Tax, on 01242 776000 or by email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.