How businesses can use real-time capture to streamline R&D claims

Zoya Malik posted 7 April


o fully maximise an R&D claim’s potential, increasing numbers of companies are looking at their claims on a real-time basis.

The core of an R&D claim process is to review which projects undertaken by a company qualify as R&D for tax purposes within a given financial period. A real-time capture approach reviews projects as they are undertaken at regular intervals during an accounting period instead of a retrospective exercise after the year-end date.

A project that Ayming recently assessed on a real-time basis, related to the use of a new type of concrete, with activities related to testing its properties and performance includable in the claim. Essential information was required to substantiate and ensure that the claim was maximised. This included details on the areas of the project on which the new concrete was tested, the number of people involved, proportions that were scrapped, testing timescales, notable ongoing technical challenges in its development, and the relevant supplier and worker costings. As the project was live, the individual could easily recall these facts, using their ongoing experience and technical notes. Crucially, they could also confirm with the current site teams on the activities’ duration, which led to a larger claim as the activities took more labour time than the individual thought himself. As the R&D activity was live and ongoing, the real-time process enabled the individual to track the identified qualifying elements and document the information to support the substantiation of the future works in a targeted, efficient manner.