Our experts can plan a methodology that works for your company based on the size of your claim. Input is typically needed from a variety of sources and effective planning and scoping can save significant time and cost. With RDECX, the claimant should not need any further professional support after this point in many cases.
Our work includes an initial assessment of the sources of innovation. All that is needed at this stage is:
- A brief description of the work/activity
- Estimated costs
- A broad timeline over which the activity was or will be undertaken and the accounting treatment in the financial statements
Shortlist of potential qualifying projects and a work plan.
In order to make an informed assessment for whether a project qualifies, project managers who will be providing the critical input need to understand the BEIS Guidelines and their application. If HMRC undertake a review, this will be a key aspect that they would look to confirm.
This is best achieved through an interactive group workshop covering the principles of the BEIS Guidelines and an initial evaluation of projects. The workshop usually takes approximately 90 minutes.
Project managers will have sufficient understanding to provide informed feedback for project evaluations.
Project Evaluation Interview and Write-up
Our team can work through the project evaluations with you and write them up for your review. Typically, this takes 45 minutes for the first project and 30 minutes thereafter.
Alternatively, you can draft the project evaluations which we can critically review and make recommendations to ensure they present a robust case for inclusion.
FTI can review your cost analyses to identify:
- Qualifying costs that have not been included (e.g. qualifying indirect activities)
- Costs that would not be eligible
- Ways in which presentation can be improved
The market approach adopted for R&D claims regularly deploys the use of accountants’ in-house ‘engineers and technicians’ who are unlikely to meet the benchmark of a competent professional set out in the BEIS Guidelines. FTI Consulting work with four leading patent attorney firms who have been trained by us to assess projects against the requirements of the BEIS Guidelines.
Their brief will be to challenge instances where there is insufficient evidence that the project qualifies. Equally, their natural skillset is to identify innovative technological qualities and their input can enhance the expert insight into the existence of an advance in science or technology. Furthermore, this review will potentially enable identification of opportunities to patent and enhance the long term potential advantage from the patent box regime.
Systems and Real Time Evaluation
The RDECX diagnostic application allows companies to embed a real time evaluation process to improve their controls in capturing qualifying R&D projects. We can improve and streamline the process of collection of evidence and identifying cut-off. We also use the opportunity to look at your future R&D commitments to identify opportunities to enhance the company’s claim.
A recurring challenge is identifying when qualifying R&D starts and ends, matching this to qualifying costs and ensuring that the audit trail is robust. HMRC are applying much greater focus to this aspect of claims. FTI Consulting have significant experience in helping companies improve systems and controls for capturing data for tax purposes and will recommend incremental improvements as part of our review.
Tax Audit Support
Our experts can assist companies with their HMRC enquiries into their R&D claims with consistent positive outcomes.