HMRC have recently targeted businesses running nursing or care home and warned them about the risk of making research and development tax credit claims.
They say that agents and advisors approach businesses like theirs and encourage them to make claims. In HMRC’s words, ‘these claims are often ineligible.’
They recommend checking the following.
- Is the agent qualified to advise you
- Has your usual advisor ever given you advice to make such a claim?
- Before you were contacted, did you know you were undertaking R & D?
- Do you understand what you are claiming for, and do you know what will happen if the claim is later found incorrect?
- Do you have evidence to support your claim?
- Does any information you’ve received sound too good to be true?
We agree with most of this except for point 6, which is disingenuous and unprofessional. The R & D scheme is a generous relief but is legal.
It is also a broad generalisation that a particular sector would not qualify for R & D relief. We suggest taking good professional advice before making an R & D claim.