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HMRC Brings Changes to R&D Tax Claims

R&D Tax Credits 3 mins read 13th Apr 2021

HMRC has introduced a new form to be completed when a company claims tax credit through the R&D tax relief scheme. The recent change will be mandatory for both RDEC and SME claims, and forms part of the corporation tax return submission.

From 1 April 2021, companies claiming a payable tax credit on their corporation tax return will be required to complete the new CT600L form. This should improve HMRC’s ability to process claims, but may complicate things for inexperienced claimants.

Here’s everything you need to know. 

What is CT600L?

With the increasing number of R&D tax claims every year, HMRC is introducing additional measures to improve the quality of the submitted claims. 

HMRC previously made it mandatory that any claim for R&D tax relief must be included on the corporation tax return, CT600. Without it, applications will not be processed. 

The new form takes this further. As of 1st April 2021, HMRC have issued a new supplementary form, the CT600L. This requires parts of the R&D tax calculations to be entered directly into the form.

Does it affect our R&D tax claim?

You’ll need to complete the new CT600L form if you are any of the following:

  • Large company claiming research & development tax credits (RDEC scheme).
  • Small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) undertaking R&D work as subcontractors for a large company or that has received a notifiable state aid or grant for an R&D project and looking to claim RDEC. 
  • SME looking to claim a payable tax credit from the R&D tax relief.

Why was the CT600L introduced?

The purpose of the CT600L form is to ensure HMRC obtains all the correct information and calculations with your R&D tax credits claim. This change is part of the HMRC’s ongoing strategy to improve the quality of the claims and ensure only genuine companies benefit from the incentive.

HMRC is looking to make the process more efficient and effective by addressing the most common errors found in the past applications, most notably that they lacked adequate calculations to support the claim. 

This is just part of HMRC’s plan. The CT600L form is also being launched concurrently with the new SME PAYE cap, introduced as another solution to the growing number of fraudulent R&D tax claims. 

The consequences of CT600L

Changes to the existing R&D claim process will always increase the claim complexity, particularly for any finance teams and accountants not specialising in R&D tax. Without a strong understanding of HMRC changes they may struggle to adhere to the new criteria, increasing the risk of a claim being rejected or missing out on the full entitlement.

The CT600L form will primarily target RDEC scheme submissions, which is already the most complex area of R&D tax claims. 

Calculating the RDEC against corporation tax liability accounts for half of the entire form. The HMRC officer does not take any errors in the submission lightly. It could cause the claim to be investigated and payment of the tax credit being delayed.

How do we see this change?

The new CT600L is a positive change. Any measures that will reduce the claim processing time and ensure only genuine companies are rewarded for their R&D efforts will always benefit the R&D tax credit incentive as a whole.

By providing HMRC with more information supporting your claim, you’ll likely avoid enquiries and questions from their officer, resulting in improving the processing time of your claim. 

Considering the outlined drawbacks, we still see this as a favourable change. As experts in this field we have, over the last 12 years, assisted in numerous R&D tax claims that were on course for failure due to inaccurate drafting. 

If you’re unsure how CT600L needs to be completed for your business, get in touch with our team of R&D tax specialists. At G2 Innovation we fully understand HMRC’s criteria and can accurately maximise claim value by identifying all qualifying expenditures.

Read more:

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