Clients In The Construction Sector? They May Qualify For R&D Tax Credits

20th Mar 2020
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In construction, every project presents its own distinct set of challenges - and with them, the chance to innovate. New products, approaches, processes and materials can all count toward a claim for R&D Tax Credits adding up to thousands.

R&D Tax Credits allow for UK companies in any sector to claim Corporation Tax relief to help with the costs of innovative activities. This could be things like creating a new product, process or service or notably improving an existing one. As long as the project contains an element of financial risk, outcome uncertainty and technological or scientific advancement, it could well quality. Even loss-making companies can claim too, and the relief can be worth up to 33 pence in every £1 spent on R&D. Can your clients afford to miss out on an average claim of around £55,000?

Too many companies, particularly those in the construction sector, still aren’t claiming

Even though the scheme has been around since the early 2000s, many UK companies still aren’t claiming their full R&D tax relief entitlement - or indeed anything at all. In our many years of working with both businesses and accountants, we’ve found this to be for a number of reasons. Many construction companies simply haven’t heard of the relief before, and of the ones that have, many then don’t think it applies to their company or projects. Some companies simply don’t have the time or resources required to apply, and others are worried about what can be a particularly complex process. But this is where we can help.

At Myriad Associates (developers of the Tax Cloud UK portal) we’ve spent two decades working in R&D tax relief. Our team is highly experienced, consisting of R&D tax advisors, accountants and specialists, all of whom are on hand to work with you and your client in achieving an accurate, highly optimised claim.

We know the R&D Tax Credits claim rate can be as low as 3% each year for companies in the construction industry - and it’s something we strive to change. So many valuable, eligible projects, costs and activities are simply written off as “just day-to-day business” when actually they could be included in an R&D tax relief claim. Don’t let this be your client, because they could well be missing out on thousands of pounds in their pocket.

You can find out more on our R&D Tax Credits page.

What kinds of projects typically attract an R&D Tax Credits claim in the UK construction industry?

The construction industry is huge and covers everything from domestic house building to the development of industrial sites. There are countless projects going on at one time with a whole spectrum of aims and priorities, again many of which can attract R&D Tax Credits. For example:

1. Building in challenging or unusual conditions

Every building job is different and no two sites are the same. Whilst experienced building firms and their contractors will always use standard practices where possible, there are still plenty of times when some thinking outside the box is required. In such circumstances there’s no choice but to use R&D to come up new solutions, tools and techniques that will hopefully get the job done. These could be in relation to anything from access and logistics to location challenges, piling, foundation work, time frames, budget issues and site restrictions.

2. Unique builds

Bespoke projects by their nature are unpredictable and are more difficult to plan around. Despite best efforts, challenges can occur without warning that can slow down progress. These challenges again offer the perfect opportunity for innovative thinking and R&D to bring about a solution.

3. Health and safety

According to the Health & Safety Executive, every year the construction industry accounts for 31% of fatal injuries and 10% of all serious reported accidents, despite only employing around 5% of all UK workers. Construction has always been a dangerous sector to operate in, with stringent health and safety requirements. This can bring about innovations in protective measures such as more robust working procedures, the use of automation for more dangerous jobs and the design of safer scaffolding.

4. Integrating new technology

It’s easy to think of construction as being about building new infrastructure, but a huge section of the industry is concerned with restoration work. However, when using new technology to meet the demands of such projects - particularly in very old buildings - isn’t always easy. Innovative solutions are often required when balancing the character of the building against the requirements for BREEAM status and these could attract R&D tax relief.

5. Meeting skills shortages

Certain techniques, particularly those required again in restoration work, may be hard to come by in modern times. Coupled with continued uncertainty around EU employment in post-Brexit UK, innovative R&D will likely be needed to fill a gap in skills. This could involve retraining contractors or using automated technology use for instance.

How the Tax Cloud portal can help

Designed specifically for R&D tax relief claims, the Tax Cloud portal is divided into two distinct sections, one for accountants and one for businesses. It offers both accountants and clients the ability to enter in details about the company’s R&D projects, as well as specific figures around expenditure. The calculator then works out roughly what the company could claim, before provided a bespoke, guided service through the application process.

It’s simple to use, excellent value, and can help you help your clients. Of course, the experienced team at Myriad Associates are also on hand to assist you along the way if you need us.

Our team doesn’t deal in any other kind of accountancy or tax relief work. So you have no worries about us taking over your work or losing clients to us; we’re only interested in working alongside you to deliver the highest quality R&D tax relief service possible to your valued clients. This means your time, attention and expertise can be directed towards everything else.

Why not try our Tax Cloud portal for accountants today, or call our friendly team on 0207 118 6045. Alternatively you can use our contact form and we’ll call you back.