Blog and Case Studies

R&D Tax Reclaims Become Better Known in These Unprecedented Times

by Darina Ward, on Mar 26, 2021 8:01:48 AM

When I established Growthviser, my intention was to help smaller businesses claim their rightful entitlement to tax rebates on their R&D expenditure and to bring something new to Cumbria. Little did I know that I would be attracting enquiries from across the UK so quickly.


Although I had no doubt that saving clients thousands of pounds in tax would be compelling, the coronavirus situation has encouraged businesses to focus on the support they can access in these unprecedented times. My motivation in starting Growthviser was to follow my heart, as I am passionate about innovation and helping smaller businesses and SMEs. I now find what I am doing even more relevant for many businesses that need to recoup money on their innovations, in order to get through these very tricky times and then flourish.

As an R&D tax reclaim specialist, my business, Growthviser, is helping clients to legitimately claim back costs spent on their ‘innovations’. This is an area of taxation of which very few businesses are aware, despite this aspect of tax law having potentially large benefits for their bottom-line profitability. I left the corporate world because I wanted to extend the benefits of R&D tax reclaims to those who either did not know about this aspect of tax, or who did know but were being charged exorbitant fees for assistance with their claims.

It is estimated that nine-out-of-ten British businesses eligible for an R&D tax reclaim are not applying for this rebate. If I can help just some of these, I will gain great personal satisfaction.

What I find when I talk to businesses about R&D tax reclaims is that many of them associate innovation with test-tubes and new inventions. In reality, the definition of innovation is broad, encompassing areas including new products, process and quality improvements, project management and software development. Those doing things in new ways are often successful with their claim, so I just need to spread the word when it comes to what constitutes ‘innovation’.

Coronavirus has made businesses really drill down into the support available to them. I know that some accountants are now actually talking to clients about R&D reclaims, although most do not have the skills to assist with them. I am very happy to be any accountant’s R&D partner, if that is the case.

Whether it is through such briefings, or just better research, or just Googling more whilst working at home, it would seem that businesses, of all shapes and sizes, are seeing what a financial benefit a tax rebate could be. This is leading a wide variety of businesses, from innovative farmers to manufacturers, to my door, from locations across the UK.

So, what do I do? Well, Growthviser diligently analyses a business’s ‘innovation’, assesses what costs are eligible for a reclaim of tax and then prepares and submits a claim to HMRC. I have prepared very successful claims for local Cumbrian innovators such as Lake District Farmers and Kendal Nutricare and I am working with other similarly agile businesses, not necessarily on my doorstep.

Up to 33 pence in the pound can be reclaimed and a claim can go back two accounting periods – important for businesses who did not know about this tax reclaim scheme. The repayment is either a cash sum, or a reduction in the business’s Corporation Tax bill, and can be sizeable.

Unlike other specialists in this area of taxation, I do not charge sky-high fees, working on a fair and transparent basis with clients and earning a justifiable fee for my expertise and no more. That’s really important to me. I also wish to offer a one-to-one service, getting to know my clients really well, so that I can optimise my service to them.

I have created a team of experts in specific fields, such as new product development, engineering, design and IT, to assist with technical reports, and am offering a truly bespoke service for select clientele, which is not the norm in this specialised field of tax.

R&D claims can be successful in many sectors - IT, engineering, manufacturing, recreation, education and construction, to name but a few. I firmly believe that Cumbria’s farming sector could be a source of many claims, as farmers are often great innovators, as my consultancy work has proved. I am looking forward to visiting many farms, to assess how much money could be reclaimed from the expenditure behind field to fork processes. Maybe there will be a cup of tea and a slice of cake around the farm table!

However, I will also be working with a wide range of other businesses from very small digital agencies to bigger SMEs. This is the size of business I wish to concentrate on, as I am passionate about helping businesses grow and flourish and this is why I left the corporate world behind.

Although the current situation is likely to lead to a very busy time on the R&D tax reclaim front, I am already deriving the massive satisfaction that I wanted from my career and can’t wait to work with a wide variety of clients, learning about their businesses inside-out – a huge part of preparing a claim.

If you have any inkling that what you have done in your business could be deemed to be ‘doing things differently’, it is well worth picking up the phone and calling me on 0844 549 9400.It could very beneficial, whether you just want extra cash back in your business or wish to lower your Corporation Tax bill and I’m happy to chat things through, with no obligation, to set out the options you may have.If that’s of interest, there’s no time like the present.