Having worked with a number of clients who were previously unaware of their eligibility for research and development tax credits, Lang Bennetts’ chartered accountant Paul Burrows wants more small businesses in Cornwall to become aware of the criteria.

“There’s a common perception that research and development is something that only high-tech businesses engage in but in fact the scope is much broader than that,” said Paul. “Projects to improve, modify or integrate processes or systems so that performance or efficiency improves can qualify too.

“For example, we’ve helped clients in the food and drink sector who are developing new flavours and those creating software for applications like medical assessments, business compliance, telephony, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and data collection and analysis. Engineering product development and adopting new manufacturing processes may also meet the criteria.”

Profitable companies who are eligible get an enhanced tax deduction of 2.3 times their actual research and development expenditure, whilst those making a loss can still get up to around 33 pence in the pound back from HMRC on their research and development costs.

“Lower tax bills can mean more jobs, more investment, better returns for shareholders and a greater drive for innovation so this government initiative is really important for our local economy,” said Paul. “We’re delighted to have helped quite a number of businesses who would otherwise not have known about their entitlement. It’s satisfying for us and sometimes a wonderful surprise for them.”

To contact Paul and the Lang Bennetts team, call the Truro office on 01872 272047 or the Falmouth office on 01326 375587.