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Introducing Zest Research & Development

by Adam Park | September 17, 2020

I’m excited to introduce to you – Zest Research & Development. We’ve set up shop to help companies make the most of the tax credit which is being offered by HMRC to boost innovation in the UK. We think a lot of companies are missing out on this reward and we want to change that.

In the tax year 2016-17 fewer than 2 in every 100 UK companies made a claim for R&D Tax Credits [1]. Many of the UK’s most innovative industries are missing out, for example; agriculture, forestry, and fishing amount to fewer than 1 in ever 100 claims [1]. Some of these industries, agriculture being a great example, perform R&D every day, often without realizing it. And with the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announcing plans in his Spring Budget to increase investment in R&D to £22bn a year [2] – there couldn’t be a better time to get started.

Our Mission

Here at Zest – we want to make sure every company that does qualifying work, receives their reward. More importantly; we want to go about it in the right way.

That means we’ll be on hand so that our clients can make the most of the R&D tax credit scheme without disrupting their work. If they have a claim to make, we’ll do all of the heavy lifting – from their first consultation, all the way to the tax credit being processed as a payment into their account or a reduction in their corporation tax bill.

We want to build our business by making sure our clients would recommend our service - that’s why Zest R&D guarantee:

  • No tie-ins – we won’t make you sign any long-term contracts.
  • No win-no fee – if we aren’t successful in making a R&D tax credit claim on your behalf – you won’t be charged a penny.
  • 100% success rate – we’ve been successful with every claim so far – and in the unlikely scenario that HMRC challenges a tax credit claim we submitted – we'll defend it on your behalf at no extra charge.

So What are R&D Tax Credits?

R&D tax credits are a tax relief designed to encourage UK companies to spend more on Research and Development. The governments intention is to encourage greater investment in innovation. And with Brexit looming, there couldn't be a better time for the UK to innovate.

If a business is performing R&D, the tax credits will either reduce their liability to corporation tax or allow them to surrender some of their losses for the year as a payable cash sum. For SME’s - this could mean up to 33% of the money they spent on R&D is paid back to them.

Most importantly - the definition of R&D is broader than you might expect. It doesn’t require ‘white coat’ laboratory research to take place. If a company has attempted to resolve some kind of uncertainty and make an advance in science or technology – this will probably qualify as R&D. This can include changes to processes and services – as well as products. Here are some examples of work that could qualify for R&D tax credits:

  • Technology: changes that required the development of bespoke elements to your IT system or website, where a solution wasn't readily available on the market. For example, building a bespoke interface from a website into an internal IT program.
  • Agriculture: adaptation to fertilizer or feed combinations in order to optimize production or target certain qualities that are required for the crop.
  • Investment Management: development of bespoke tools to perform portfolio valuations and make them available to clients.
  • Manufacturing: designing a product, or updating an existing one in order to create something which is unique to the market. For example, attempting to use a new combination of materials for food packaging.
  • Construction: adaptions to existing construction techniques – for example using an alternative treatment so that younger and cheaper timber can be used in construction.
  • Manufacturing/Construction: Development of new materials – which are more effective than alternatives on the market – e.g easier to install, more fire retardant.

Can I Claim?

If you may have something that qualifies, or your considering doing some work that may qualify in the future:

Either way – feel free to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and let us know if you have any thoughts.


[1] Research and Development Tax Credit Statistics (October 2019): https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/837282/Research_and_Development_Tax_Credits_Statistics_October_2019.pdf

[2] Spring Budget Transcript: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/budget-speech-2020

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