20TH OCTOBER, 2020

How Many Technical Reports Do I Need For My R&D Claim?

Don’t go it alone

Getting the technical report even slightly wrong can drastically reduce your chances of successfully securing R&D tax relief. The report is about persuading HMRC of your project’s (and your company’s) eligibility, describing how it meets with HMRC’s legislation and what technical challenges were undertaken. It must be written in a very specific way, and this is why we strongly recommend you don’t try and “DIY it”. Furthermore, before you read on further take a look at our recent blog: How To Prepare A Technical Report For An R&D Tax Credits Claim) for more background about the report.

Before you start your claim

Before taking any steps towards claiming R&D Tax Credits (especially if you’re an SME), first have a read of our R&D Tax Credits page as well as the Gov website. It explains in detail what the scheme is about, who is eligible, what projects will qualify and where the pitfalls lie. Then when you’re ready to start, let the Tax Cloud portal guide you. Claiming is not a straight-forward process, and taking a DIY approach is unlikely to be successful.

If your report describes up to ten R&D projects

If you’ve claimed tax relief on between one and three projects, then details of each individual project must be included. For four or more projects, detailed descriptions need to be given on a minimum of three projects, to a maximum of ten. Between them, they must cover 50% or more of your total relevant R&D costs

And more than ten R&D projects?

If you need to include details for over ten R&D projects covering more than 50% or more of your applicable costs, email: RD.IncentivesReliefs@hmrc.gov.uk.

Can’t I just use the HMRC online tool?

Yes there’s an HMRC tool and yes you could use it. But we don’t recommend this route, especially if you don’t have R&D tax relief experts in house yourself, you’ve never claimed before or you haven’t claimed for some time. Use the Tax Cloud portal instead.

Making your way through an R&D tax relief claim is complex, not to mention time consuming. There are plenty of chances to make mistakes along the way, which are likely to cost you dearly. Although the government has given you a way of submitting your report, it’s really rather basic. There’s no feedback or guidance if you need it along the way.

Why use the Tax Cloud portal for submitting my technical reports?

Tax Cloud's functionality alongside the support and guidance our advisors offer makes Tax Cloud a very unique and valuable portal for companies looking to secure an R&D tax relief claim and remain compliant.

The Tax Cloud portal only deals with R&D Tax Credits, and it’s a highly tuned, efficient online application system. Plus, our team of (human!) R&D tax experts at Myriad Associates are here every step of the way if you need us. We understand the intricacies involved in making a claim, and can help you maximise it for the most successful outcome.

Tax Cloud serves to provide a cost-effective, easy to use online tool that makes submitting your technical report simple. There are separate sections for businesses and accountants, offering a seamless service completely tailored to your requirements.

How does Tax Cloud work for businesses?

Follow these four steps to start your R&D Tax Credits claim:

Step 1. Sign up - it’s quick, easy and free. Just enter your company name and we will verify your details.

Step 2. Create your technical report and enter details about your R&D project costs.

Step 3. This is where the expert team at Myriad Associates will check your claim with a fine tooth comb. We’ll also offer feedback and provide recommendations where needed.

Step 4. Tax Cloud will take your technical narrative and figures to create your claim report. After you’ve done a final check of it yourself, we’ll then submit the application on your behalf and if any questions arise we’ll deal with them for you too.

Don’t forget - Keep your technical report simple

Focussing on fewer projects but completing your narrative report well goes a long way. Try to stick to around two to four pages of A4. Keep your writing concise and to the point, focussing on the major technical challenges that were overcome. Everything you write needs to refer back to HMRC’s criteria, so there’s no superfluous information that officers will need to wade through.

And one more thing to remember

Be careful of writing from a managerial point of view, as opposed to a technical one. The whole point here is that you lay bare the facts about the project - what work took place and what technical or scientific uncertainty was addressed. Plus, most importantly, demonstrate to HMRC exactly how technically complex your project was. The more difficult and technically challenging your R&D activities were, the more likely it is they’ll be awarded R&D Tax Credits.

For further tips about how to write a comprehensive technical narrative, we recommend readying through our recent blog on the subject.

The Tax Cloud can make all the difference

Myriad Associates - the name behind Tax Cloud UK - is a highly specialised, boutique R&D funding consultancy with bases all over the UK and Ireland. The Tax Cloud portal itself is a fast, simple way of inputting your own company’s R&D expenditure to generate a fully optimised, accurate claim. We will then verify it fully before submission, so you can rest assured that everything’s in order. And of course, any time you need us we’re ready and waiting to help.

Log on to the free Tax Cloud portal for businesses now or speak to our friendly expert team on 0207 360 4437. If you’d prefer, you can also send us a message and we’ll call you back.

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
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Myriad are the creators of Tax Cloud, we help enterprises navigate, apply and secure tax incentives and grants. We specialise in R&D Tax Credits, Creative Tax Reliefs, Innovate UK grants, Horizon Europe grants, and R&D Capital Allowance Claims.

  • Submitting R&D tax claims since 2001
  • Strong track record spanning 20+ years delivering R&D tax credit claims
  • Over £70m claimed and counting
  • Industry leading specialists
  • We employ technical, costing and tax experts and tax experts
  • Confident of delivering value to our clients, we offer our R&D tax services on a success fee-only basis.

Meet some of the team behind Tax Cloud

Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
Jillian Chambers Jillian Chambers Technical Analyst/Writer
Lauren Olson Lauren Olson Technical Analyst Manager
Rabia Mohammad Rabia Mohammad Corporate Tax Associate