R&D Tax Credits – Business continuity and support during these challenging times
The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a major impact on the way we go about our lives and our business.  The situation is changing daily but we wish to reassure all our existing and future clients that we have already instigated a comprehensive business continuity plan to ensure we are able to provide an uninterrupted service. All our R&D teams have the capability to work remotely and we have instigated a remote approach for all clients, facilitated by video conferencing, allowing us to deliver the same quality and format of service that you would normally receive in person. 

Help Line: Recognising the difficulties businesses are facing in trying to keep up to date with the details of the constantly changing financial support available and finding the information that matters to them, we have set up a help line to support you. We can’t promise to have all the answers at our fingertips as we all know some of these initiatives have yet to be firmed up by the Government, but your feedback will help us understand what you really want to know and focus our efforts on finding you the answers you need. Call us on 0114 263 2632




Initial Meeting


Facts and Figures

Submissions and Review



While the very large companies are dealt with separately, most R&D claimants will have their claim dealt with by a specialist HMRC R&D office.

Initially the tax return containing the claim will be entered onto the HMRC systems by a large clerical team dealing with returns in general

The system will note that there is an R&D claim and will refer it to a specialist office. This is staffed by tax people rather than technologists, but they are familiar with dealing with R&D claims and will try to be broadly consistent with other R&D offices, and constructive and helpful in their approach.

With software claims, HMRC caseworkers are now supported by HMRC’s own IT specialists.

They do not always succeed in this latter aim (we are all human and they are working under tight resource pressure) but this is the framework they seek to work within.

Although most enquiries into claims are based on risk features identified in the claims, some claims may be selected randomly for enquiry at this stage, to check that the targeted selection process is not missing something.

Within the R&D office, the claim will be initially reviewed to see if it is broadly in the right format and does not contain obvious errors.

Depending on the scale of the claim and the degree of risk of error that HMRC sees, it will either be accepted at this stage or referred for more detailed enquiry.



An HMRC enquiry is something to avoid if possible.  It requires the company to persuade unqualified HMRC staff that there is a technological advance required and can take a few months to resolve, possibly including site visits and detailed invoice review.

The claim may be adjusted as a result of the enquiry, and if there are obvious errors in what is claimed, there may be penalties.

We want to help clients avoid enquiries while fully claiming their entitlement. So our aim at MSC R&D is to structure the claim so that HMRC can quickly see that the claim is prepared in accordance with the rule base, and that the R&D has been correctly identified by specialists in the technology field.

In that way we aim to secure quick agreement of the claim and get you the benefit straight away.

Also, by involving us, you can demonstrate to HMRC that you have tried doing things conscientiously, and in the event of any challenge we will be there to smooth the way and support you.