Businesses across the North West could be due a huge payday from HMRC, The Manc Bank can reveal. Research and development tax credits are available to companies that have developed something new or improved their processes, but too many are missing out.
Research and development tax credits are owed to thousands of companies but have been left unclaimed. There is more than £30bn available – and businesses of all sizes could be owed money.
Local businesswoman Elaine Martin, 45, was shocked to discover that her Warrington-based bakery and catering company could claim £8,743 for developing a new ordering system.
“I’ve always loved to cook and that, so when someone told me I should make a business out of it, I did! We’ve been going strong for the past 10 years,” Elaine told us.
During lockdown, Elaine was forced to close her bakery due to the government restrictions. At the same time, her corporate clients stopped booking with her as conferences, networking meetups and conventions could no longer go ahead.
Elaine wasn’t sure what to do, but when her husband suggested she open a delivery service she jumped at the idea. She reached out to her community on a local Facebook group and was inundated with positive messages – this convinced her.
“Everyone was really open to the idea, so I thought I’d give it a go. I had a bit of money saved up so thought I’d use it put into my business and see if it could help me,” Elaine said.
She only had a basic website at first and it wasn’t set up to take complex orders. She got in touch with a local software developer and build in a custom ordering system complete with space for special requirements and customisations.
Elaine’s company also set up a system for delivery drivers to log in and track orders. She partnered up with local van drivers and was able to change her business model.
She didn’t know it at the time, but what Elaine had done was classed as innovation by the government, meaning she was eligible to get research and development (R&D) tax credits.
The software developer she’d worked with was a former client of Areande, a Manchester-based innovation tax relief claims company, and he referred her to them.
Elaine talked to Areande and got back almost £9,000 in two simple steps. “All I had to do was answer two questions on their website and they got back to me straight away. They handled the claim for me, which was a huge relief because I’m not good with paperwork,” she said.
All businesses, big or small, are being encouraged to see if they could receive R&D tax credits. There are no restrictions based on sector or industry and the money could be with your business in a matter of weeks. We spoke to Colin Smith, a specialist at Areande, who encouraged many businesses like Elaine’s to take advantage of the scheme while they can.
“If you’re a business owner, there’s a good chance that you’re owed R&D tax credits,” Colin told us, “Contact Areande today and we’ll make sure you get your pay-out”.