REASONS WHY R&D CLAIMS ARE REJECTED BY HMRC

Why is the report submitted to HMRC?

HMRC initiated the two schemes of R&D claims: R&D Tax Relief and R&D Tax Credits. These schemes provide businesses working in the field of research and development with a chance to acquire R&D incentives.

For R&D Tax Relief and R&D Tax Credits claim innovative businesses are required to prepare a comprehensive report. The report tends to provide evidence of your eligibility criteria for R&D Tax Relief or R&D Tax Credits. This detailed report with all your qualifying R&D activities is submitted to HMRC and you receive R&D incentives only if your report is accepted by HMRC.

Reasons for HMRC's Rejection of Your R&D Claim:

There can be several reasons behind HMRC’s rejection of your R&D Claim. Some of the probable reasons are:

• You have received grant funding or state aid in the past for the same project:

If you acquired grants for the same project then you fail to fulfill the prerequisite of the R&D claim. HMRC will reject your application as you disqualify for claiming R&D Tax Relief or R&D tax credits.

Receiving state aid restricts you from accessing SME R&D Tax credits scheme so you might have to apply via the RDEC scheme, even if you fall under the category of R&D Tax credits. So if you have claimed state aid or grants in past, that might affect your R&D Claim.

• Claiming R&D Tax Relief when you are not liable to corporation tax:

If a company is applying for R&D Tax Relief it must be liable to the Corporation Tax, as R&D Tax relief actually provides you relief from your company’s Corporation Tax. So those non-incorporated businesses when apply for the R&D Tax Relief their R&D claims are straight away rejected for not fulfilling prerequisites of the claim.

• Incorrect subcontractors invoice

As we all know that subcontractors’ cost and external employee cost qualifies for the R&D claim, but you are required to provide an accurate and precise calculation of your R&D expenditures. Sometimes companies make discount deals with the subcontractors and when they provide an invoice for the R&D claim, it disqualifies and ends in rejection of the claim.

• Including sub-contractors time as a direct cost for the R&D claim:

Subcontractor’s time can not be treated as the direct cost for your claim of  R&D incentives. Including the subcontractor’s time in direct cost might lead to the rejection of your R&D Tax Credits claim.

• Including tangible assets or capitalized expenditure in your R&D incentive claim:

Your R&D incentive claim must include precise eligible revenue expenditure. Assets and capitalized expenditure do not qualify for the claim and including them might cause the failure of your application for R&D Incentives.

How rejection of your R&D Claim can be avoided?

R&D incentive claims should be prepared very carefully, with all the precise and correct information given in a report. HMRC deals with thousands of claims, so they don’t have time to deal with your unnecessary details, it is better to stick with the prerequisites of the claim and provide all the evidence of your claim in a precise and clear manner. The pivotal focus of your report should be evidence of your qualifying R&D project and expenditure. Your R&D report should also include precise calculations of your qualifying R&D cost. It is encouraged to take help from R&D tax credit experts like ours to assist you in tailoring the report for the claim, as any misinformation can cause daunting consequences.

Do HMRC charge penalties for incorrect R&D claims?

If HMRC identifies an error in your R&D tax credit or R&D Tax Relief claim, then they might charge penalties, and the amount of penalty depends on the R&D claim. It is assessed whether the error is intentional or not and then the size of charge penalty for misleading R&D incentive claim is finalized. Misinformation or misrepresentation might lead to an inquiry by HMRC to discuss any issue raised, therefore R&D claims ought to be prepared very carefully to avoid any unintentional error.

You can also take help from R&D Tax Credit experts like us to deal with the daunting process of preparing the report and making claim to HMRC. R&D experts also deal with HMRC’s inquiry very judiciously, minimising the risk of rejection and maximizing your R&D Tax credit or R&D Tax relief.