HMRC has placed some research and development (R&D) claims on hold while they investigate irregularities.

HMRC have now confirmed that they have paused the payment of some R&D tax credits, to allow them to investigate irregularities in claims for R&D relief.  HMRC think this move will help them to mitigate potential abuse of the tax relief. 

We are aware that HMRC already have a large backlog of R&D claims to process, and it is anticipated that these changes will result in further delays to HMRC’s processing times.

HMRC have requested that claimants do not contact the R&D helpline or mailbox to chase outstanding claims but have advised that claimants should instead monitor their online account which should provide updates on the status of any claims.

Whilst this news has come at a time when we are already experiencing slow response times on the processing of claims, it is now more important than ever to make sure that you are submitting robust claims.  To try and avoid your claim being impacted by the above we would suggest the following:

  • Submit your R&D claim as soon as possible to ease any unnecessary pressures on cashflow;
  • Ensure all information to collate the R&D report is submitted in a timely manner; and
  • Request that the competent professionals complete a thorough review of the report to ensure it is technically correct.

Please be advised that for our R&D clients we will continue to actively liaise with yourself and HMRC to ensure any R&D claims are processed as quickly as possible, however if you have any concerns about the processing of your R&D claim, please contact a member of our corporate tax team.