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R&D relief regime ready for update, says ICAEW

11 Jun 2021

The UK's current research and development (R&D) tax relief regime offers valuable support to companies but could be improved, according to a survey carried out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The ICAEW's survey found that the R&D tax relief regime could be improved by switching to regular periodic payments; incorporating it into the wider subsidy system; and by offering support tailored to specific industries' needs.

Survey respondents outlined a desire for 'more regular support closer to R&D investment spend', as opposed to a one-off payment after the completion of the tax return process.

Respondents also suggested that the R&D tax relief regime could be aligned with the forthcoming Making Tax Digital for Corporation Tax (MTD for CT) initiative. This would allow claims to be made digitally every quarter, alongside the required MTD reports.

Additionally, the ICAEW's Tax Faculty highlighted the need to update the definition of R&D used in the regime in order to 'acknowledge the technological and commercial reality of the 2020s'.

The ICAEW's report can be read in full here.

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Registered in England, Company Registration number – 7906656. Registered Office – 58b High Street, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, MK11 1AQ. Registered with the Chartered Institute of Taxation as a firm of Chartered Tax Advisers. Registered to carry out audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.