Architects could be missing out on R&D tax relief

Heather Williams, Partner at Mazars, Poole.
Heather Williams, Partner at Mazars, Poole.

The Poole office of Mazars, the international accountancy and advisory firm, has advised local architects to seek professional advice on research and development (R&D) tax relief after the government announced ambitious plans to increase R&D activity across the economy in this year’s Spring Budget.
The plans outlined reduce the administration requirements for accessing R&D incentives, and aim to to  improve awareness of these tax credits amongst the business community.
Heather Williams, Partner at Mazars, Poole, commented:  “The idea that R&D tax relief is only applicable to those companies performing laboratory work, is, in fact, a common misconception. Instead, it can apply to a wide range of industries, including architecture.”
R&D tax relief is a corporation tax relief that may reduce a company’s tax bill or result in a payable tax credit.  The amount of relief available varies according to whether the company qualifies for the more lucrative Small or Medium sized Enterprise (“SME”) scheme or the large company scheme.
Heather explained: “In order to qualify for relief, a company must have been involved in a project which attempts to achieve an ‘advance in science or technology’ and in order to achieve the advance there must be ‘fundamental uncertainties’ to overcome.  Furthermore, the uncertainties encountered must not be easy to overcome, for example, through brief discussions with peers, by ‘competent professionals’ in the field.
“Given these definitions, it is highly likely that architects would meet the criteria set out by HMRC,” added Heather, “and we would therefore encourage them to seek professional, specialist advice in order to reap the financial benefits and incentives available to them.”
If you would like further information or guidance on R&D tax relief, as well as details of how to apply for this, please contact Heather Williams, Partner, Mazars, Poole, on 01202 688455 / 07703496156

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