R&D Tax Credits and PCRT Guidance: a positive step forward

Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT) is a framework of guidance that sets out the professional standards that are expected of professional bodies when undertaking “tax work.”

This guidance was recently extended to provide direction on the provision of R&D tax relief services. The key points are that members must carry out work with proper regard for technical and professional standards AND not undertake professional work they are not competent to perform.

The requirements of competence in relation to R&D tax relief work are:

  • Industry sector specific technical knowledge, understanding and insight
  • Tax specific knowledge and experience
  • Insight into HMRC’s interpretation of relevant legislation

Given the PCRT guidance and the criteria defining competency outlined above, it’s no great surprise that a significant proportion of professionals (mainly accountants) who were previously happy to be involved in preparing R&D tax relief claims, are now actively involving specialists to help them.

This is a sensible move, as there are numerous risks associated with using someone unqualified in the field of R&D tax relief to prepare claims, including;

  • not clearly identifying eligible activities,
  • inaccurate recording of eligible expenditure,
  • miscalculation of benefits and
  • poor presentation of supporting evidence.

All of these shortcomings ultimately lead to inaccurate claims which could result in a time-consuming and potentially costly enquiry from HMRC.

To find out more about how you can safeguard the accuracy of your R&D tax relief claims or to discuss the implications that recent changes to the R&D tax relief scheme might have on your business, please contact Sandy Findlay on 07807 739033 or email sandy.findlay@abgi-uk.com


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