4 Things to Expect from a Specialist R&D Tax Credit Advisor (As a Minimum)

14th May 2021
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Securing R&D tax credits for your client’s innovative projects is a specialist, time-consuming task. That’s why partnering with an R&D tax specialist is a wise move. They’ll do all the heavy lifting, your client will get a bigger payout and you and your reputation will go from strength to strength.

4 Things to Expect from a Specialist R&D Tax Credit Advisor (As a Minimum)

I’ve never received a “thank you” for delivering financial statements, but I certainly did when clients got their R&D tax credit cheques.

But, with tales of poor tax credit advice and concerns over ethics and professionalism circling, how do you know you, for certain, that you’ve secured yourself a trustworthy R&D tax specialist - one that will benefit you and your clients R&D claims?

The 4 key things to look for in an R&D tax specialist

There are four key things to carefully consider when shopping around for the perfect R&D tax specialist to work with: 

1. Their experience with R&D tax credit claims

To make sure your clients get the maximum amount of R&D tax credits and that no ‘unclaimed funds’ are left on the table, a superb R&D tax advisor should be able to prove that they have expert R&D tax knowledge and specific R&D tax claim experience. 

To establish if they’re up to the job or not, ask questions like:

  • How many years have they been dealing with R&D tax credit claims?
  • How many R&D tax claims have they submitted?
  • What’s their success rate?
  • Do they know what projects are classed as eligible for R&D tax relief?
  • Do they know what evidence is required to justify R&D claims?  
  • Do they know how to spot all claimable activities and expenses within your client’s multi-faceted R&D projects?

Your chosen R&D tax consultancy should be able to answer these questions confidently and put your mind at rest instantly.

2. Their approach to the R&D tax claim process

The R&D claim process itself is quite structured and conventional. However, the way R&D tax consultants choose to work with you and your clients will demonstrate how competently they’ll be able to handle your clients R&D claim.

Keep a look-out for:

How they communicate
Work with someone who has your best interest at heart and will guide you through the process.” – Dave Ramsey, Ramsey Solutions

Firstly, make sure you meet the R&D tax consultants that’ll be handling your clients R&D claims and not just the sales team. A sales rep will offer you the moon on a stick, but an R&D tax specialist will give you the reality.

Secondly, pay attention to how they like to communicate. Although COVID-19 restrictions are making it impossible to do much else right now, using phone calls or emails to build trust and understand your client’s business will not be as effective as setting up face-to-face meetings, for example. A good R&D tax advisor will always endeavour to visit their clients face to face wherever possible.

How many experts they’re willing to allocate to your client’s project
A good R&D tax consultancy will always assign a tax or costing expert to each case, to deal with the financial side of the claim. Plus, they’ll also allocate a technical expert who will work with your client to understand the project and the advancements they’ve made in science or technology, so they can build a robust technical report to support the R&D clam.

These experts combined ensure no eligible cost is left unclaimed and provide an R&D tax credit claim that will stand up to HMRC scrutiny.

How transparent they are
Although an R&D tax consultant will file your clients R&D tax claim, the responsibility for the claim itself will always sit with your client. So, it’s critical that the R&D tax specialists you choose to work with are open, honest and transparent. They should want to work collaboratively with your client: they should be prepared to simplify complicated aspects and share all crucial documents, spreadsheets and reports with them.

Whether they outsource or use an in-house claims team
[Outsourcing is] like saying, 'Here's a bag of money. I don't know you but look after it.” - Insurance Times  

Always check to make sure that the tax consultancy you’re considering a partnership with has dedicated R&D tax specialists on-hand and in-house. If they’re shipping your clients R&D claims out to an external practice, you have no oversight or control over the standard of their work or the timeframes they’re working to. This not only puts your clients R&D tax claim at risk, but it also puts your reputation on the line.

3. Their R&D tax consultancy contract terms

It’s common for R&D tax relief consultancies to tie you down with fixed, long-term contracts for their services. But it’s better to choose a firm that has a more flexible outlook and recognises that, over time, business priorities change and the amount of R&D tax support that your clients will need is likely to vary. Plus, if a consultancy knows that they have your business secured for another 12 months or so, where’s the incentive to keep going above and beyond to retain your business? Flexible R&D consultants prefer to rely on their service delivery to ensure repeat business rather than a long-term contract.

4. Their relationship with HMRC

R&D tax consultants that deliver high quality, error-free and timely R&D claims tend to have a naturally healthy relationship with HMRC. And, although HMRC doesn’t give favours or preferential treatment to R&D tax consultants, it’s safe to say that if they’re familiar with certain advisors they can assume they’ve done their due diligence when preparing their claims. This can often lead to quicker turnarounds.

Which R&D tax specialist should you partner with?

You only have to type “R&D tax relief” into Google and you’ll be inundated with hundreds of R&D tax relief consultants, all claiming to be the most efficient, the most accurate, the most competitive and the most successful.

So, where do you start?  

With Myriad Associates of course.

Having been in the R&D tax relief industry for over nine years, we’ve submitted thousands of R&D tax claims and know exactly what to do to get your clients the maximum amount of tax relief. Our due diligence and right-first-time approach have allowed us to build a strong relationship with HMRC, so our R&D tax claims are always dealt with quickly.

We provide every client with two experts for their claim and with a 100% success record, our in-house team of R&D tax relief experts will meet with your clients face-to-face (COVID-19 regulations providing) so they can understand every aspect of their business, identify every eligible R&D project, activity and claimable expense, and collect all the evidence required to clearly justify the R&D claim.

Every document, file and report that’s been created to support your clients R&D claim will be explained and shared with your client.

We pride ourselves on working in a way that suits you, your clients and us.

How to contact your new R&D tax relief consultants

There are several ways to find out more about Myriad Associates. Visit our website, give us a ring on 01858 776 045, or drop us an email.