Here’s why you should use an online R&D tax credit software portal
In the digital age it's possible to find online services for all your business needs, with R&D tax credits being no exception. In 2017, the first online R&D tax credit portal software was developed and set up in the UK. Since then, many businesses have begun offering their own R&D tax credit software and nowadays, there’s a veritable smorgasbord of online software to choose from.
So why should you, an accountant with small to medium businesses as clients, jump on the R&D tax credit software train?
What is an online R&D tax credit claim portal?
Essentially, an online R&D tax credit portal is software that you download to your desktop that submits your R&D tax credit claim for you. While each portal will differ based on the provider, each is designed to do the same thing - to maximise the claim of their R&D tax credit.
Most online interfaces will have you enter details of your business, allowing the software to calculate the best course of action. For R&D tax credit this will calculate your eligibility, as well as maximise the possible claims.
Although it's not all automated. The online portal will put you in touch with qualified tax specialists at every stage of the process. They will review your application and be on hand to answer any questions.
Benefits of using online R&D tax credit portal software
In short, using online R&D tax credit portal software gives all the benefits of a regular consultancy while streamlining the process and saving money. Most businesses claiming R&D tax credit will be on the small side. As such, they might not have the resources to research how to claim. On top of this, the HMRC definition of R&D can feel overwhelming to break down without expert help. This is where online portals come in - to make the R&D tax credit claim process simpler. There are many pros to using an online portal for R&D tax credit claims, such as:
- Saves money: Most R&D tax credit consultancies will charge based on a percentage of the client’s corporation tax savings. For SMEs this can often be a sizable amount of their investment budget. Many small businesses are put off from exploring R&D tax credits as a result. Online software solves this problem by offering comparatively low sign up fees.
- Saves time: Filing via an online portal will automate the claim, making it a much more efficient process. And if you do run into any snags, experts are on hand to assist. Plus, it will free up your resources to focus on the very R&D the business is aiming to claim for!
- Ensures your claim meets HMRC guidelines: HMRC has a set of guidelines for R&D claims that must be met. Online portals ensure this happens, as they are developed by established specialists. This is important as an incorrect claim can cause HMRC to investigate the company’s activity. Recent research by YouGov shows that HMRC are scrutinising R&D tax credit claims from IT businesses. It also shows that 1 in 5 businesses claiming R&D tax credit were concerned about an HMRC inquiry. This should be much higher. An online portal will take care of the possibility of an inquiry, making it one less thing to worry about.
- Protects your client: In recent times there have been reports of a number of unscrupulous companies posing as R&D tax credit experts. These so-called ‘experts’ that exaggerate a claim could pose a huge risk of your client losing money, as well as facing an investigation from HMRC. R&D tax credit software secures your client’s business data by inputting into a specially designed system. There’s no need to share their confidential information to external parties.
How to find the one for you
When browsing for an online R&D tax credit portal, it's important to identify the quality of service you want. There’s no point finding out you're not eligible for a claim towards the end of the process, for example. Here are some indicators of high quality online portals:
- Low cost: As mentioned above, this is one of the calling cards of online R&D tax credit portal software that puts the service above consultancies. Review a number of online portals and their respective subscription fees and compare them according to the features they offer. Many will also only charge once the claim has been accepted by HMRC.
- Integration with accounting systems: It’s a reality of modern business for companies to use accounting systems. As such, integration with systems such as Xero is a big plus. Integration removes the chance for errors in data entry to occur, which could compromise the claim. The risk of human error is something that can’t be eliminated during traditional consultancies.
- Quality advisors: The advisors you access through the software should be trained and experienced experts. This is key as it will dictate the overall quality of guidance you receive. Information on a portal’s advisors can usually be checked via their website. Software such as made.simplr’s will also offer you a range of experts as opposed to just one.
- Communication: A good online R&D tax credit portal will have strong channels of communication between the claimant and it's experts. As well as consistency, this communication should be across multiple platforms. Live online chat, email and phone support should all be available through the software. This ensures the client can progress their claim at their own pace while avoiding delays.
- Cloud technology: Building on this, a quality R&D tax credit portal should utilise cloud technology. This makes it accessible 24/7 from any internet capable device. No maintenance or physical servers are required. This ensures round-the-clock access to an expert, where a consultancy has to fit within the schedule of the expert in question.
Look no further than made.simplr
It goes without saying that all the above aspects can be found within made.simplr’s R&D tax credit software. In particular, if you’re an accountant looking to do what’s best for your client, this is the service for you. You’ll be able to manage and organise your claims with unprecedented ease. This is enabled by mobile device access, along with easy-to-use reports and analytics. With an intuitive design, we guarantee it’ll take less than an hour to get your client onboard.
Our specialist expertise comes from 15 years working in government funding, with 10 years focused on processing R&D tax credit claims.
We pride ourselves on delivering a quality user experience most of all. Don’t hesitate in contacting us today for a demo.
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