Research & development (R&D) tax relief has been a part of the UK corporation tax system for over 20 years and it looks like it is here to stay. Successive governments appear happy that it is delivering a good return to the economy in terms of increased R&D spend and businesses clearly like it.
Where there’s muck
Where a tax relief or incentive offers the potential of a generous cash credit - as with R&D - there will be a queue of people wanting to help taxpayers claim that relief. There is nothing wrong with that in principle. Tax is a complex area and it is only right that taxpayers are able to get professional advice and assistance.
The key word here is “professional”. Unfortunately, some of the firms springing up to give R&D tax relief assistance are far from professional in their behaviour.
Recently many accountants and tax advisers have voiced concerns about the standards of expertise and professionalism witnessed with R&D claims. These are my thoughts about what this all means, what is being done about it and what further action is needed.
Ethics and professionalism
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I am an independent specialist adviser on the taxation of innovation, advising companies and other advisers on areas such as R&D tax relief, Patent Box and Creative Industry reliefs, as well as IP tax issues more generally.
Formerly a Tax Partner with KPMG LLP (UK), I left in 2011 to establish Aiglon Consulting.