We’ve had a terrific year here at RIFT R&D, which basically means that you have too! Across the UK, more and more innovative businesses are waking up to the benefits of the R&D Tax Credits scheme. When you’re in a challenging field, it’s so easy to dismiss your most forward-thinking work and problem solving as just “business as usual”. A lot of really inventive projects have come from unusual or unexpected companies in 2018, with claims arising in:
Sport and nutrition.
Food and drink.
Yes, you read that last one right. It turns out it’s even possible to do R&D in underwear! How’s that for a mental image?
Our client companies this year have run the full range from micro-firm to business behemoth. Research and development, as ever, is where you find it. Even that single great idea that might never bear fruit can still qualify – and we’ve seen that very clearly this year.
2018 was big for construction R&D, as expected. The building trade has innovation at its core, and we’ve seen a solid rise in the number of firms making valuable claims. RIFT, of course, has its roots in construction, with world-class expertise and 2 decades of experience. We’re proud to play our part in the rise of the sector, as a strong back and a safe pair of hands for companies with R&D claims. With only a small fraction of construction businesses making those claims there’s still a lot of ground to cover, but the trends are heading in the right direction.
We’ve pushed forward with our partnerships this year, too, developing our relationships with BITA and Constructing Excellence. We’ve presented awards and sponsored events across the country, and attended even more. Examples include:
Constructing Excellence South East Awards, where we sponsored the Preservation and Rejuvenation award.
Constructing Excellence National Awards, were we sponsored the Innovation award.
BITA, where our sponsorship’s been flying the flag for the construction sector and helping them to benefit their members.
Speaking of partnerships, our new team-up with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce means we’ll be working together closely to make sure their members get the support, information and practical help they need to succeed in their R&D claims. As the UK’s leading light in making full, effective claims, we’re absolutely the right tool for the job here. On top of our comprehensive claims service, our partnership with KICC will include a dedicated helpline for members, quarterly clinics and much more.
Current HMRC statistics show that, overall, R&D claims are on the rise. However, there’s still a long way to go in boosting awareness and uptake of the scheme – particularly in the building trade. To get things moving faster and farther, RIFT has kicked off a series of in-depth quarterly reviews to look at the key challenges faced by the construction sector, and how R&D can help address them.
With the November Budget still faintly echoing in our ears, a few of its announcements have been rippling through the R&D landscape – particularly for firms making losses. It’ll be 2020 before a key alteration starts to bite, with the return of the PAYE cap on payable tax credits. We’ll keep a close eye on this as things roll forward, to make sure all our clients know where they stand and what to do about it.
R&D’s all about looking ahead. Next year we’re going to carry on focusing on offering a first-rate service, and we’re already watching a few likely rising stars in the R&D world. Agritech, for example, is gaining a lot of momentum right now and could well be the Big News sector of 2019. However, it’s important to realise that Research and Development plays a part in every industry. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t qualify just because you aren’t setting out specifically to change the world. Very often, the biggest ideas have the humblest beginnings, and a single spark can end up lighting up an entire sector. All it takes is the right support at the right time – and that means a comprehensive, well prepared R&D Tax Relief claim from RIFT.
That’s a brief look back at 2018. Now, let’s see what the future holds together…
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