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Advance Assurance For R&D | Could Your Tax Relief Claim Be Pre-Approved?

by Adam Park | December 17, 2020

Are you considering conducting a new project at your company? Could it qualify as R&D? Advance Assurance could provide you with a guarantee that your project will be eligible for tax relief under the SME R&D Tax Credit scheme. That means you could get a reduction in Corporation Tax, or a payable Tax Credit of up to 33% of your project spend. Sounds good, right?

First, you need to confirm whether your project is likely to qualify as R&D. You can find out more about this on the R&D Tax Credit page on our website. Good indicators that your project is likely to qualify as R&D are:

  • You are not sure at the start of the project exactly how you'll finish it. That means you're uncertain how you'll be able to create the product or process that you're setting out to. Or you think you'll need to conduct iterations, trials, or testing to get to the end result.
  • You are, or you are employing, experienced or qualified industry professionals to help complete the project.
  • The project is seeking an advance in scientific or technical knowledge in your field.

If you're unsure whether your work qualifies - we can help. Otherwise - the next question to ask - am I eligible for Advance Assurance?

Who Can Apply?

There are restrictions on who can apply for Advance Assurance. Some of these are listed below, if you need any advice about which apply to you, feel free to get in touch.

  • The applicant must be a limited company.
  • The applicant and any other companies in the same group, can't have previously claimed R&D Tax relief.
  • The company or groups turnover must be less than £2 million, and there must be fewer than 50 employees.
  • The company must not use a disclosable tax avoidance scheme (DOTAS) or be registered with HMRC as a serious defaulter.

If you're still reading - and you meet all the above criteria, you're likely to benefit from Advance Assurance. So, you probably want to know how to apply?

How Do I Apply?

To apply for Advance Assurance, you'll need to prove to HMRC that your project qualifies as R&D. You'll also need to specify the costs that you will be including in your R&D Tax Relief claims. Knowing all of this before you've even started your project can be difficult. Zest can help you to formulate an Advance Assurance request, which will legally maximise the scope of your project, and the tax relief you're able to claim.

If you've got any questions about Advance Assurance, or you want help in making an application, feel free to get in contact.

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