R&D Tax Credit system to be reviewed in light of fraudulent claims

According to figures released in the Autumn Budget, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has prevented around £300 million of fraudulent R&D tax credit claims since the relief was introduced.

In a bid to prevent further abuse of this tax relief, Philip Hammond has promised to clamp down on fraudulent claims by reintroducing a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) restriction for the small and medium-sized companies scheme.

This is part of a wider promise by Mr Hammond to clamp down on avoidance, evasion and unfair outcomes in the tax system, which the Treasury estimates will raise an additional £2 billion over the next five years.

Under the new rules, due to be enacted from 1 April 2020, the amount of payable R&D tax credit that a qualifying loss-making company can receive in any tax year will be restricted to three times the company’s total PAYE and National Insurance Contributions liability for that year.

While this may upset some SMEs, the Chancellor did offer some alternative incentives to business, including a two-year increase in the Annual Investment Allowance from £200,000 to £1 million from January 2019 and a commitment to invest £1.6 billion in advanced technologies in the UK.

Link: Budget 2018