Yorkshire and the Humber Lags Behind in R&D Tax Relief Claims

Date posted: 4th Nov 2020

Businesses in Yorkshire and The Humber are potentially missing out on millions of pounds of tax relief, according to Rosemary Anderson, partner at Clive Owen LLP in York.

Latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs (2018/19) show that the North East has the lowest number of claims for R & D tax relief than any other region in England.

Research and Development (R&D) relief supports companies that work on innovative projects in science and technology. It can be claimed by a range of companies that seek to research or develop an advance in their field. It can even be claimed on unsuccessful projects.

HMRC recently published figures on R&D tax credit claims which show that total number of claims for R&D tax credits rose to 62,095, which is an increase of 17% from 2016-17. The increase was primarily driven by a rise in the number of SME claims.

Only around 4,000 Yorkshire and The Humber companies made R & D claims compared to:

  • London – 12,000
  • South East – 9,000
  • North West – 6,000
  • West Midlands – 5,000

East Midlands businesses made a similar number of claims to Yorkshire and The Humber.

Most of the overall claims came from manufacturing companies, followed closely by information/communication companies and those businesses within professional/scientific/technical sectors.

Other industries included agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying and construction.

Rosemary Anderson said: “Despite the growth in the number of claims, there is a significant disparity across the regions in the number of companies applying. With the Government coronavirus support now drying up for many sectors, it is an opportunity for Yorkshire based companies to consider this well-established and robust scheme to bolster cash flow.

“There’s a perception that R&D is something undertaken in a laboratory by teams of scientists – the statistics demonstrate that this is far from reality.

“We believe that a lack of proactive advice to companies and, more often than not, the modesty of business owners are the main reasons for the low uptake of R & D tax relief in this region.

“It is frustrating that when we meet potential clients and talk about their business and discuss the challenges, they are facing delivering a project, R & D tax relief is dismissed as not being relevant.

“R & D is a genuine entitlement and at a time when many companies are struggling financially with COVID and Brexit causing such uncertainty it makes sense to explore all avenues of financial support.”

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