If your R&D team are not yet back to ‘business as usual’ or a ‘new normal’, we’re here to give a little inspiration for how they could spend the downtime, to positively affect your R&D funding strategy in the future.
We’re all adjusting and adapting to the changes that Coronavirus has imposed on our businesses. Some businesses are back in the office working under new rules, some are working from home, some are still not able to return.
R&D businesses could be particularly affected financially, as they invest in high-risk innovative projects. Below is our 3-point checklist, that could have significant impact on your R&D funding going forward.
Make an R&D Tax Claim
HMRC’s R&D Tax Credit schemes allow you to claim tax relief on R&D your company has already completed, for the past 2 financial years.
If your company hasn’t already made a claim, the current ‘downtime’ is the perfect opportunity for you to begin building your R&D Tax claim and receive up to 33p for every £1 of eligible R&D expenditure.
The average SME claim is worth approximately £50,000 per financial year – claiming this back now could result in that cash being in your business in just a few short weeks, ready to kick-start your R&D activities again.
If you’ve already made a claim, why not spend a little bit of time or engage an expert R&D Tax Consultant to check that you’re not under claiming? Experts such as us, will perform a free check on previous claims to ensure they’ve been maximised!
If you’re not sure where you start, begin by using our R&D Tax Calculator, to get an estimate on how much you could be claiming back from HMRC.
Review and Plan Future Projects
Once you’ve claimed your well-deserved R&D Tax Relief from HMRC, our next recommendation is to begin planning for the future.
Future R&D projects resulting in new products, processes or services is what’s going to keep the wheels of your business turning & keep your business competitive. Whether your operations have been forced to pause or not, the changing landscape makes this a good time to reflect on your current position, where you want to go in the mid-to-long term and how to get there!
Start by reviewing:
- Where you are now
- Your ongoing projects
- Whether your objectives are still relevant and achievable
- Current skills in-house/sub-contractors to achieve these
A fresh analysis of your current position will offer clarity on any changes to your objectives, available resource, affordability and capacity for additional work.
Next, look at your:
- Upcoming projects that are already planned
- Ideas that are yet to come to fruition
- R&D strategy for the next 12-24 months
Do these align with your earlier analysis of having:
- The resource and capacity available to reach these goals;
- The skills in-house or existing sub-contractors, and;
- The funds needed to carry out the projects.
If you identify there are any gaps in the above, spend this time making amends to timescales to accommodate your new needs, making connections to new sub-contractors or recruiters if required and looking into how these future projects could be funded – which leads onto our next point…
Plan Funding Strategy for new projects
One of the consequences of the current COVID-19 pandemic, is that businesses may not have the same level of funds going forward.
Investors may have backed out, cashflow may be interrupted, sales/revenue may be reduced, and cash reserves may be a lot smaller; therefore, receiving innovation funding for future projects could help to minimise that shortfall of cash.
Most funding schemes offer up to 70% of eligible project costs (some are even 100% funded), which goes a long way towards funding a high-risk innovative project.
Once you have your projects planned, we recommend researching and finding suitable funding schemes that you could apply for. The current landscape offers ‘open’ competitions for all industry sectors, and ‘themed’ competitions which have a particular focus.
If you can, try to find a themed competition which fits your project, as the chances of success are much greater than in open competitions.
How can TBAT help?
As innovation funding specialists, we’re perfectly positioned to assist you with accessing R&D Tax Relief and planning your future funding strategy.
Our team are experts in identifying opportunities for your business and can guide you to finding the right funding for your projects, whether they’re already in progress or completed and eligible for an R&D Tax claim, or yet to begin and need grant funding to get them started.
We’d be happy to connect you to one of our Consultants to begin discussing the opportunities available to your company – simply get in touch.