GDPR and Identity Fraud

Identity fraud

Spring has sprung, and with it, an eager expectation of the arrival of better weather, as well as the (perhaps more dependable) arrival of the court’s decision on Dreamvar UK Ltd vs Mishcon de Reya and P&P Property Limited vs Owen White & Catlin LLP, and of course the introduction of GDPR at the end of May (25th).

The two cases of Dreamvar and P & P Property, which the courts heard in February, concern property fraud. The deception underpinning them both is straightforward: a fraudster pretends to be a vendor in a conveyancing process, having no actual ownership of the property in question, and they ‘sell’ the property before disappearing with the proceeds. Such fraud is generally termed ‘identity fraud’, and legal firms make an attractive target for identity fraudsters, with vast sums sloshing through their client account in conveyancing matters. However, no business or individual is free from the risk of identity fraud, with attacks coming in many other guises. One example is a phishing scam reporting to derive from bona fide sources, another is a cloned email demanding ‘urgent payment’ from the Chief Executive, and others include fake social media profiles inviting its unwitting victim to become ‘friends’.

It appears reasonable to hope that the introduction of GDPR will do some good to counter identity fraud, with its stringent set of rules and the greater care that ‘data processors’ will now have to take when handling clients’ and customers’ personal information. However, businesses must not become complacent, particularly in the wake of two recent observations in the run-up to GDPR:

  1. The incident-detection agency SecBi alerted its client to suspicious activity on one of their employees’ devices. However, the client felt unable to pursue the case, since doing so may have amounted to a breach of their responsibilities concerning employee data-handling. It transpired that the employee’s union had used language from GDPR to prevent the employer from even looking at its employee’s personal information without ‘sufficient cause’. [Ref: Are you letting your GDPRs privacy rules trump security?, Michael Nadeau, CSOOnline.com, 23 March 2018]
  2. Instances where fraud is detected early have dramatically increased the chance of tracking down the fraudster, because of the availability of trace information left behind, such as associated domain names which lead to an identification and prosecution. With GDPR, the same information will be much more difficult to obtain, in the quest to identify the fraudster. [Ref: GDPR and WHOIS – winners & losers, Matt Serlin, circleid.com, 05 April 2018]

We may conclude from the two observations that whilst GDPR might do some good in the fight against fraud in general, it may bring with it new opportunities for identity fraudsters to go undetected. This could foster an environment in which fraudsters feel safer to operate, which could in turn increase the number of attacks. Businesses cannot afford to let down their guard against fraud, and must ready themselves properly for GDPR. Fraudsters will no doubt be looking to do the same.

If you are concerned about identity fraud and how you or your business can counter it, please get in touch. We can provide advice, and even arrange a ‘Spring clean’ review of your fraud-preventative systems to help you ensure you are well-protected before and after the introduction of GDPR.

Please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our Forensics team.

Real Estate Matters – Issue 8

Our Construction & Real Estate team have worked together to provide a national outlook on the issues facing the construction and real estate sectors.  

Issue 8 of Real Estate Matters contains articles on the recent Spring Statement announcement, Mortgages, the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings and an update on the residential house price index.

Read the full publication: Real Estate Matters – Issue 8

Issue 9 will be released in July 2018. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to make sure you don’t miss it!

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in more detail or if you would like to speak with a member of our Construction & Real Estate team, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with your local representative.

Making Tax Digital for VAT

Making Tax Digital for VAT

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for businesses will finally arrive on 1 April 2019. From that date, all VAT registered businesses with turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to:

  • Maintain digital records (for VAT purposes only);
  • Provide their VAT information to HMRC using third party commercial software.

This Includes:

  • Unincorporated businesses
  • Companies
  • LLPs
  • Charities

VAT registered businesses below the threshold can file their VAT information through MTD if they wish. Initially, there will be no change to the filing or payment deadlines, or to the basic information submitted to HMRC.

Below we cover the main points you should be aware of with the upcoming changes.

Software

The biggest challenge in the move to a digital system will be the availability of suitable software. The regulations will require any business within the scope for MTD to use ‘functional compatible software’ to meet the new requirements. HMRC have stated they will not provide free software. However, they are working closely with software providers to ensure a wide range of options will be available.

The software you use must be able to:

  • Keep required records in a digital format;
  • Preserve those records in digital form for up to 6 years;
  • Create a VAT return from the digital records;
  • Provide HMRC with this data on a voluntary basis;
  • Receive information from HMRC about the business’ compliance record via the Application Programme Interface (API) platform.

Digital Records

There will be no requirement to keep supporting documents, such as invoices and receipts, in a digital format. However, businesses will need to store transactional information digitally, including the time and value of each supply, together with the applicable VAT rate. Retailers within the VAT retail schemes will be able to keep a record based on their daily gross takings, rather than recording details of individual transactions.

Businesses will still be able to use the flat rate scheme under MTD, meaning digital records of purchase invoices will not be required (unless they relate to capital items which cost more than £2,000 including VAT).

Supplementary Data

HMRC has made it clear that there will be no requirement to submit more information than is included on the current VAT return. However, businesses will be able to submit supplementary data voluntarily. They have said that providing extra information will have benefits for business as well as for HMRC itself. This could be the case if the provision of additional information allowed HMRC to deal more effectively with a business’ VAT affairs, but this will depend on details yet to be finalised, and the ease of businesses to submit any additional information.

What Should you be Doing now?

Larger businesses with their own internal IT teams should be liaising with the head of the Finance and Tax Departments to ensure that they are aware of the coming changes and that systems are being developed to cope with these changes.

Smaller businesses should contact their accounting software provider to establish what offering they have and how their package will change to meet the requirement of ‘functional compatible software’.

How can we Help?

At MHA, we offer a wide range of services and support to help you become MTD compliant. We can explain how Making Tax Digital for VAT affects you, help you find a cloud solution, submit quarterly submissions to HMRC or even provide training for your team.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss MTD with us in more detail, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our Tax/ Digital Solutions team.

This article originally appeared on the blog of our member firm, MHA Carpenter Box.

Property VAT – Opt to Tax Explained

Opt to Tax

If you have an interest in commercial property, whether freehold or leasehold, and use it for your own business purposes and do not rent it to others, it is generally unlikely that you will need to consider opting to tax the property. However, if you wish to generate additional income from the land and/or property, or sublet part or dispose of it altogether, you should consider whether or not an option to tax should be made BEFORE any money changes hands.

There are advantages and disadvantages of opting to tax and in view of the amounts involved in the purchase and sale of commercial property, it is essential to take good VAT advice. Once made, an option to tax can only be revoked in limited circumstances or it remains in place for 20 years. Where the property has previously been leased out as exempt, then permission to opt may be required from HMRC.

Deciding to Opt to Tax

Factors to be taken into account when deciding whether to opt to tax include, for example:

  • Was VAT incurred in the purchase price and would you like to recover it?
  • Is the property subject to the Capital Goods Scheme? If so, by not opting the property you may be liable to repay HMRC some or all of the VAT recovered on property costs.
  • Will the lease you intend to grant be full tenant repairing?
  • What other costs will you incur in respect of the property?
  • Will your tenant/purchaser be in a position to recover any or all VAT charged on any rent/sale?

Depending upon the responses to the above factors, a commercial decision as to whether to opt to tax can be made. Generally, the option to tax relates to discrete parcels of land and/or specific buildings. However, it is possible to submit a ‘real estate election’ (REE) whereby all future property acquisitions will be subject to an option to tax, unless specifically excluded.

In addition, there are some supplies of property where any option to tax may be dis-applied, such as:

  • Non-residential buildings where the purchaser certifies that it is intended for use as a dwelling;
  • Non-residential buildings to be used by a charity for a relevant charitable purpose;
  • A housing association certifies the land will be used for the construction of dwellings or buildings for a relevant residential purpose (care home, student accommodation etc.).

Where the decision is taken not to opt to tax, any supplies of the building (rent, lease or sale) will be exempt from VAT. This can result in a partially exempt VAT registration leading to possible restrictions on input VAT recovery

How do I Opt to Tax?

This is a two stage process. Firstly, a decision to opt the land/property must be made, after considering all the relevant points. Then that decision should be notified to HMRC within 30 days. Occasionally you are required to notify HMRC before a transaction takes place, such as a sale of tenanted commercial property to be treated as a transfer of going concern (TOGC).

Revoking an Option to Tax

As Options to Tax have now come of age (i.e. they have been available for more than 20 years), it is possible to revoke one which was made more than 20 years ago.

Certain conditions must be met, and advice should be taken in respect of future exempt supplies and how that might impact on input VAT recovery.

Conclusion

The law relating to land and property VAT is complex and does not follow the normal trading rules. VAT is a transaction tax, and once any sale or lease is completed, it can prove difficult, if not impossible, to later correct any VAT errors made. As commercial properties command significant prices, any VAT errors with commercial property can be expensive. It is essential to take VAT advice before any plans are finalised and certainly before any monies change hands.

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in more detail, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our VAT team

This article originally appeared on the blog of our member firm, MHA Moore & Smalley.

VAT and Imports – The Importance of the C79

C79Trading Outside the EU

Businesses that import from outside the EU usually appoint an import agent to assist with the process. Whilst the agent should provide you with all the documentation needed to support the purchase costs, they are not responsible for paying the VAT as the goods arrive in the UK.

When The Shipper Pays!

In the absence of your business having arranged a duty deferment account with HMRC, the agent might pay the import VAT and Duties on behalf of the business, and then seek reimbursement from the business. The document from the shipper which notes the VAT and Duty due is NOT a VAT invoice and cannot be used to support the input VAT claim by your business.

Forms C79

Forms C79 are issued by HMRC. They confirm the input VAT amounts and link them to the name of your business. HMRC will issue the C79 by reference to the EORI number which you should have provided to your shipping agent. This is the only document which can support VAT paid as input VAT and should be retained with the relevant purchase invoices.

Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) Number

Delays will arise where the business has not accurately quoted their EORI number to their agent. This will prevent a C79 being issued correctly which may in turn, delay recovery of that input VAT. Where businesses rely on the agents invoice figures on which to recover VAT, they can mistakenly include duty amounts as input VAT on their VAT returns. This will lead to compliance errors, as duty can never be recovered on a VAT return, and the input VAT can only be claimed when supported by a C79. Where C79 forms have been lost, it is possible to obtain duplicates, but this also delays recovery of the VAT paid from HMRC.

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in more detail, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our VAT team

This article originally appeared on the blog of our member firm, MHA Moore & Smalley.

VAT for Motor Dealers

VAT for Motor DealersVAT is an increasingly complex tax, particularly in the motor trade where mistakes can be costly, due to the high unit values involved. HMRC continue to target motor dealers using specially trained officers, so it’s always worth reviewing your VAT accounting. Here we explain VAT for motor dealers and issues to be aware of.

VAT for Motor Dealers

Consignment stock arrangements generally preserve ownership of the goods with the manufacturer until certain conditions are met. Typically, these depend on the date a vehicle is adopted or a specified period of time has elapsed. Invoicing and payment terms will vary between manufacturers, and establishing the correct ‘tax point’ for the recovery input VAT can be difficult.

In addition, having a ‘right to return’ the goods can alter the tax point. The actual tax point could be the date payment is made, the receipt of an invoice, the date the vehicle is made available, or the date the vehicle is adopted.

As always, ‘the devil is in the detail’ and the actual tax point will depend on the specific facts of the arrangements between the manufacturer and the dealer. Establishing the earliest tax point can be key to increasing the cash flow of a business.

We know that these arrangements can be very different between dealerships and we can only give accurate advice by looking at the exact circumstances. One of our member firms recently helped an established main dealer gain a cash flow advantage on their consignment stock. We were able to identify a tax point which allowed input VAT to be recovered earlier than had previously been achieved. This was an experienced dealership who reasonably assumed that they could only reclaim the VAT when they paid.

How can we Help?

We know that HMRC VAT inspectors target and test motor traders for a selection of commonly made VAT errors. Our Motor and VAT specialists are experienced in these checks and are able to provide help and guidance if required.

We also offer a VAT health check service for businesses which reviews the exposure to VAT risks and identifies any potential VAT opportunities/savings.

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in more detail, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our Motor team or VAT team

This article originally appeared on the blog of our member firm, Larking Gowen.

VAT Inspections in the Legal Sector

The 2017 case involving Brabners Solicitors and in particular the VAT treatment of online search fees has been well documented. We have seen evidence of HMRC’s targeted approach from visiting firms to follow up on this issue.

It certainly appears that professional practices remain firmly in the spotlight for HMRC. The sector has been targeted for many years now, resulting in several high profile legislative changes. For example, the new rules relating to the use of corporates (“mixed partnerships”), alterations to the transfer pricing rules as applied to service companies and the revised interpretation of the self-employment criteria for fixed share partners. It appears that VAT is the latest item on HMRC’s hit-list for the sector.

We would recommend that firms undertake a review of their VAT affairs now, rather than waiting for an inspection from HMRC. If a firm proactively reviews its compliance within several key areas of VAT legislation, it will be much better positioned in the event of a visit from HMRC. In our experience, a VAT inspection can be stressful and hugely time consuming. Time spent in advance not only reduces the impact on the finance team, it also makes it less likely to lead to unexpected cash outflow. In addition, the inspector is more likely to determine that the firm has a high level of compliance and understanding of the rules.

Recent experience has shown that VAT inspectors have attended specific training sessions in relation to professional practices and are arriving for their visits well briefed and with a list of sector specific hot topics to target.

The following are a few areas our team have seen in practice:

VAT on Search Fees

As mentioned above, this matter came to light following a HMRC disagreement regarding the VAT treatment of search fees with Brabners Solicitors and the matter is now being pursued by the Law Society.

In summary, the issue is that it is common practice in the sector for search fees to be treated as a disbursement and therefore, if the cost incurred is free from VAT then the amount billed on to the client is also treated as VAT-free on the basis that the cost is simply being passed through to the client. HMRC are contending that the lawyers actually utilise this information and include it in their advice and therefore the cost should be included as part of the supply of services and therefore subject to VAT. In the Brabners’ case, HMRC took the view that their agreement with the Law Society about the treatment of postal search fees did not extend to electronic searches.

It appears that as HMRC visit firms, they are quantifying the amount of under-declared VAT and are demanding that firms pay the related VAT to HMRC. Although, they are noting that if the appeal against the Brabners decision is successful, then the amounts will be refunded. Firms subject to such assessments will need to protect their position by formally appealing.

Therefore, the action point for firms is to undertake a historic review in order to assess the potential issue. This may well involve interrogating thousands of lines of data which will not be a straightforward exercise, but it may be more difficult to undertake ‘on the hoof’ during an inspection. In order to avoid penalties, a carefully worded disclosure should be made to HMRC which protects the position in the event that Brabners successfully overturn HMRC’s assessment on appeal. Going forward, we do recommend that VAT should be charged on electronic search fees.

VAT Recovered on Bad Debts

This may seem a simple issue, but HMRC are looking at the process adopted by firms closely. As a reminder, the key principle of the current rules (as set out in VAT notice 700/18) is that a firm must wait at least six months from the later of when payment was due and payable or the date of supply, before reclaiming any VAT. HMRC sets out certain conditions that must be met before a reclaim may be made, including that the debts must have been written off the firm’s day to day VAT accounts and transferred to a separate bad debt account.

There is often still confusion in relation to the bad debt rules as they have changed many times over the years and therefore a hygiene check may be appropriate.

VAT on Older Unpaid Creditors

In our experience, this area is commonly overlooked. The rules for unpaid purchase invoices (post 1997) are that a firm is required to repay the input tax that it has claimed if it does not pay for the supplies within six months of the relevant date. The relevant date is defined as the date of the supply, or if later, the due date for payment. Should the amounts in question be subsequently paid, then the input VAT can be accounted for again at that point.

Whilst most professional practices do not have significant purchase ledgers, it is not unusual to have a number of older ‘in dispute’ invoices on a ledger.

VAT on Personal Tax Return Fees

Again, this is commonly overlooked. Partners’ personal tax return fees are not a business expense and therefore the VAT should not be reclaimed. It is important that accountants separately identify the costs relating to personal taxation from those relating to the business. It is a Corporate Criminal Offence to ‘hide’ personal taxation fees within those of a business in order to gain a tax advantage.

VAT on Gifts

Where business gifts are provided in the normal course of business and are less than £50 in value (in aggregate over a 12 month period to each individual) then no output VAT is normally due and indeed the related input VAT may be reclaimed. Where a gift (or gifts) exceeds the £50 limit, then the output VAT must be accounted for on the value of the gifts in question.

HMRC’s definition of business gifts is quite wide and VAT Notice 700/7 explains that this term includes “a wide range of items from brochures, posters and advertising matter to expensive goods of the kind given as ‘executive presents’”.  They go on to explain that this category also includes long service awards and retirement gifts and indeed gifts to clients.

Tax Points

HMRC’s view is that the majority of supplies by a solicitor are single supplies, albeit the supply may involve work undertaken over an extended period of time. This is important because it means that VAT becomes due at the end of each discrete service. This is only overridden if payment is received prior to the end of the service, or a VAT invoice is issued within 3 months of completion. If a firm decides not to issue a proper VAT invoice within 3 months (for example on legal aid work), VAT reverts to being due at the time the work was completed.

In conclusion, many of the above matters may not individually appear to be significant, but in our experience the value of a VAT demand arising from a VAT inspection can quickly accumulate if there are a number of failures. This is especially important due to the stringent penalties of up to 30%, which HMRC can impose on ‘careless errors’. We recommend that being well prepared for a VAT visit, which is highly likely in the legal sector in 2018, is much better than being reactive when the day arrives.

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in more detail, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our Professional Practices team

This article originally appeared on the blog of our member firm, MHA MacIntyre Hudson.

Charity Reputation – Why is it Important?

Charity Reputation

Charity reputation is very important. By now, everyone will have seen the reports about Oxfam, and the resulting damage to its reputation. Donations to Oxfam have certainly been hit, but it appears that donations to charities in general may fall as the public’s mistrust of charities increases. Oxfam is not just being criticised for what happened in Haiti, but also for how it has managed the news since it became public. The main criticism from the Charity Commission was that, although Oxfam reported the incident, it didn’t provide enough detail of the full circumstances.

The Charity Commission needs to be told the details of a serious incident. This is broadly defined as any adverse event (actual or alleged) which causes significant loss of (or risk to) a charity’s assets or money, damage to a charity’s property or harm to a charity’s work, beneficiaries or reputation. It is ultimately the trustees who are responsible for reporting serious incidents and there needs to be a clear procedure in place to make sure it happens. New guidance on this was issued by the Charity Commission last year (How to report a serious incident).

Given the damage to Oxfam and now also Save the Children’s reputations, we have come up with some relatively straight forward things that charities can do to help maintain a good charity reputation.

Report Serious Incidents

Reports of serious incidents should be made as soon as possible after the incident comes to light. The guidance mentioned above provides details of what and how to report. Make sure that enough detail is included and that the actions taken are specified.

The Charity Commission guidance states that ‘the potential for reputation damage can be lessened, however, if you can show that the incident has been handled well; this will also allow the Commission, if asked by the media, Parliament or the public, to state that the trustees acted responsibly.’ This would be fundamental to reducing reputational damage and it can be argued that this is where Oxfam went wrong.

Consider the Governance Structures

The Charity Commission issued guidance called ‘Charity Governance, finance and resilience: 15 questions trustees should ask.’  This is designed to be a starting point to ensure that the Board is able to comply with its duties, to act in the best interest of the charity, safeguard charity assets and to act with reasonable skill and care. Questions cover strategy, financial position and information, the effect of the economic and social climate on donors, governance, safeguards and use of resources.

It is worth working through these questions and seeing how your charity fares. This could lead to some interesting discussions at all levels.

In addition to this, the Charity Governance Code document looks at purpose, leadership, integrity and openness and accountability. This code has been produced in addition to the Charity Commission guidance and is more ‘aspirational’ in its approach.

Consider Fundraising Practices

Use of third party fundraising agencies and commercial participators is increasing; from dedicated teams who call potential donors, to websites such as JustGiving. As a charity, trustees are responsible for the practices used by these agencies and they need to be aware of whether they comply with the Fundraising Regulator’s code.

Most importantly, trustees need to know what their data protection policy is. With the implementation of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the onus will be on the charity to ensure compliance.

Larger charities must register with the Fundraising Regulator and voluntary registration may send good signals to your potential donors. Registration with the Regulator could be seen as a commitment to best practice.

Keep up to Date

Many donors will rely on website information and public records to gather information about a charity, so making sure that the Charity Commission and Companies House documentation is up to date is important. Non-compliance with these deadlines may put off potential donors (private and institutional), as lateness could be seen to indicate financial problems or poor governance.

Charity websites are also a good window to the charity’s activities and can offer the chance to engage with and inform supporters.

This list is not exhaustive and this is certainly an area that all charities should discuss at Board, executive and staff levels.

If you would like to discuss this with us in more detail or if you have any questions, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our Not for Profit team.

This article originally appeared on the blog of our member firm, Larking Gowen.

Financing Options for Legal Firms

Is your firm’s cash under strain? Are you hoping to invest in improvements but don’t have the ready cash? Do you have a retirement looming? If so, what are your financing options?

All businesses need cash, and the pressures on this precious resource are particularly weighty for legal firms, who have:

  • High salaries resulting in considerable end-of-month cash outflows.
  • An unceasing need to make investments in bigger and better systems, to beat fraud and keep up with competitors.
  • Outgoing Partners extracting their equity stake without incoming Partners to counter the outflow.

Traditional Options

Banks

A bank loan may be attractive for its relative ‘cheapness’ when compared with other traditional forms of finance. Calling a bank loan ‘cheap’, however, might well be misleading, as it will often take time and administrative effort to set up – the costs of such a delay and the involvement of your time may well outweigh the apparent benefits of securing a low interest rate.

Partner Equity

The traditional path of a new Partner has been to stake their claim with new equity, and in doing so, give the business a cash boost on arrival. Today, the ‘lure’ of partnership probably isn’t what it used to be, with a bias towards short-term lending from banks and with a vast array of other important things to spend money on. This could mean that a new Partner is not there to counter the outflow when you need it most.

Alternative Options

Alongside the traditional financing options are a range of others that may prove suitable. If you’re hoping to invest in new assets as part of a business development plan, a Hire Purchase arrangement would be worth considering as you may find cheaper rates than a bank loan. There is also the option of a Finance Lease if owning the asset is not a necessity.

Peer-to-peer lending such as Funding Circle are increasing in popularity and availability, and can be quicker and easier to set up than a bank loan. Individual investors or “business angels” may be an even quicker source of finance.

Summary

Whether struggling to meet monthly outgoings, or looking to invest in new technology to keep up with the competition, our national Corporate Finance team has a large network of financiers, small and large, and can provide advice tailored to your firm’s particular circumstance.

For succession planning or general business advice, our specialist Professional Practices team has a wealth of experience, understands the issues facing today’s law firms, and can assist to help you make good business decisions.

To speak to us, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147.

This article originally appeared on the blog of our member firm, Larking Gowen.

Spring Statement – Good News for R&D

The Chancellor today delivered his first Spring Statement following the moving of the annual budget to the Autumn. As such, no major announcements were expected, and that is what we got. However, it was clear that Research and development (R&D) is high up on the political agenda.

As well as championing the UK’s technology sector and “Planning to unleash creators, innovators, investors and discoverers”, Mr Hammond reiterated support for the National Productivity Fund (a £31bn fund for infrastructure, R&D and housing) and the Modern Industrial Strategy, released earlier this year, that includes investment in R&D as one of its key pillars.

This shows that support for R&D investment, especially with Brexit on the horizon, shows no sign of reducing and if anything is likely to keep increasing.

One of the biggest areas of support that has almost doubled in size in recent years is the tax system, and, if applied for with the help of experienced advisors, it is also one of the easiest ways to fund R&D. R&D tax relief and credits provide c£2.9bn of funding to UK businesses each year, including both profitable and loss making companies of all sizes. At present it provides cash savings and payments covering almost 10% of R&D costs for large businesses and 25% to 33.3% for SMEs.

Surprisingly the relief is still under utilised, with many eligible businesses not claiming either due to lack of awareness or through a perception that it is too much hassle to claim. MHA have been helping clients obtain R&D funding for almost 20 years and have a team of specialists in over 50 offices around the country.

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

If you would like to speak to us about your R&D activity in more detail, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our Research and Development Tax team.