17TH AUGUST, 2018

Should I Use A Specialist Or My Accountant For My R&D Tax Credits Claim?

Businesses seeking to make an R&D tax credit claim often us ask the question "Why should I use an R&D tax credits specialist, rather than my accountant?"

In order to help other businesses make the right decision about their claims, this article provides an explanation of how making a claim with a specialist R&D tax credits firm differs from claiming with your accountant.

Shopping at a grocery store vs. shopping at a butcher

For your weekly shop, you’ll most often go to a grocery store, where you can get almost everything you need in one place. Accountants, like grocery stores, are a one-stop shop providing a wide range of services. A general accountancy practice will have a broad knowledge of tax and financial matters but may not have extensive expertise in any particular area, such as R&D tax credits.

When you need something specific – like when you’re planning a barbecue – it’s often best to choose a specialist provider. When shopping for your bank holiday menu, a butcher will be a better choice than the grocery store, as they specialise in providing what you need. For an R&D tax credits claim, a specialist firm can provide you with focused experience that’s designed to support you through the claims process and maximise your corporation tax savings.

It’s often true that accountants may charge less than an R&D tax credits expert, but you may not get the full value from your claim. Specialist R&D tax credit firms also have established working relationships with R&D tax inspectors, which ensures that HMRC handles your claim promptly. In addition, if HMRC raises any questions about the claim, an accountant would not provide the same support that you would have from an R&D tax credits specialist offering their services on a success-only basis.

Specialist firms like Myriad Associates have both experienced accountants and technical experts on hand to ensure that all qualifying R&D activities, projects, and costs are identified and appropriately documented. Claims for R&D tax relief are supported by a detailed report which outlines the technological uncertainties and advancements and provides a detailed breakdown of the eligible R&D costs.

A specialist R&D tax credits firm, because of its single focus, is able to ensure that it keeps current with any changes in the R&D tax relief scheme, which is especially important in these volatile times. Some firms even help influence the future direction of the scheme, by participating in the Research and Development Consultative Committee.

In short, although it is certainly possible to make an R&D tax credits claim through your accountant (or even on your own), your best chances of a successful, maximised claim are with a firm that has a proven record of success in helping businesses like yours. Specialist firms can handle your R&D claim from start to finish, ensuring that the process takes a minimum amount of your time. Just like when you’ve decided to shop for a barbecue at the butcher instead of the grocery store, it’s always best to work with the experts when you’re making an R&D tax credits claim, so you can ensure you’re getting what you need in the most efficient and effective manner possible. 

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
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Myriad Associates helps businesses maximise tax reliefs and secure R&D grant funds. We specialise in R&D Tax Credits, Video Games Tax Relief, Innovate UK grants, Horizons 2020 grants, and Research and Development Capital Allowance Claims.

  • Submitting R&D tax claims since 2001
  • 100% success rate
  • Over £100m claimed and counting
  • Industry leading specialists
  • In-house technical, costing and tax experts
  • Member of the Research and Development Consultative (RDCC) committee

Meet some of the team behind Tax Cloud

Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
David Farbey David Farbey MA, FISTC, FRSA Technical Consultancy Director
Lisa Waller Lisa Waller CTA, ACCA R&D Tax Manager
Lauren Olson Lauren Olson MA, MISTC Senior Technical Consultant