Fylde coast companies are still losing out on millions of pounds of research and developments tax savings every year compared to their counterparts across the rest of the UK.
R&D tax relief specialist Jumpstart said despite an increase of 19 per cent year on year in the total R&D tax credits claimed by North West companies in 2015-2016, analysis of the latest HMRC figures shows that they accounted for just 10 per cent of total UK claims and a mere six per cent of the total tax benefits claimed.
Russell McGrath, business development manager for Jumpstart in Lancashire, said: “These latest HMRC figures are an alarming demonstration of just how much North West companies are losing out in terms of tax savings compared to companies across the rest of the UK.
Of the 26,255 claims across the UK totalling £2.9bn in tax benefits, only 2,665 claims came from companies in the North West and resulted in just £160m back.”
Of the 2,665 North West claims, 2,290 were claimed under the SME R&D scheme and the remainder were claimed under schemes for large companies.
Mr McGrath continued: “Whilst uptake of the UK government’s R&D tax relief scheme is increasing across the UK as a whole and is very healthy in certain regions, I don’t feel companies in the North West are reaping the full benefits of the scheme.
“Also, local companies could be under claiming or over claiming because their technical project activities and expenditures are not being accurately interpreted against government legislation. As well as the introduction of increased scrutiny over claims by HMRC, the process of claiming is very much a technical assessment, so it is important that companies instruct a specialist advisor to handle this for them.
“There is huge scope for a much more focused uptake by companies in the North West.