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Should I go to my accountant for help with my R&D claim?

09 Mar 2022

Well, the simple answer is “it depends”.

Some accountancy firms employ specialist staff to help their clients submit claims for R&D tax relief so, in that case, it’s worth talking to them first before looking for an R&D consultant.

Others, however, lack the skills in-house so either avoid R&D tax relief or have a relationship with a consultancy firm, like ours, which they use to ensure that their clients’ claims are prepared correctly.

Some accountants are happy to submit an R&D claim but require the claiming company to identify its own qualifying R&D activities and prepare the supporting technical documentation.  Whilst this can work, companies often misunderstand what qualifies for R&D tax relief and what kind of information is required for the supporting documentation.  This leads to an increased chance that HMRC will open an enquiry and that the claim itself may not be valid.

The rules on R&D tax relief are complicated, open to interpretation and almost impossible to understand fully without years of experience in compiling claims. The act of filing an R&D claim is the last part of what can be a very long process, so if you are looking at using your accountant to prepare your R&D claim, ensure that they have the relevant skills and experience.

Whilst paying a few hundred pounds for your accountant to submit a claim which you have prepared may seem attractive, if that claim gets an HMRC enquiry the accountant may be unable to assist.  This means that you will end up having to deal with HMRC and this can lead to claims not only being rejected but also a fine being issued.

If you have any questions on this blog or anything R&D related, please contact us at

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