HMRC have kicked off their R&D voluntary advance assurance pilot, previously trailed in the summer consultation.
The pilot is available to small companies only (those with fewer than 50 employees) making their first R&D relief claim. HMRC will assign volunteer companies to an R&D Relief expert, to provide support and advice on putting a claim together.
The aim of the pilot is to agree a basis for the first R&D claim and claims for the two subsequent accounting periods; where the claims are made on the agreed basis, there should no query from HMRC in respect of those three R&D claims. It’s not absolutely clear, but it seems that the agreement is on a per-company basis rather than a per-project basis – HMRC is presumably hoping that these very small companies will have no more than one R&D project at a time.
Companies wanting to take part in the pilot should contact their specialist R&D Relief unit – more details on the HMRC announcement page.
Editor’s note: I’d be interested to hear from any companies that take part in the pilot – what was the process like, has it made it easier to deal with R&D, that sort of thing.