HMRC has this week published data showing the number of companies claiming Research and Development (R&D) tax credits and the cost to the Exchequer of providing that support.
But in a world focused on the now, this publication has underlined the woeful inadequacy of the figures, according to Jenny Tragner, director at R&D tax credit consultancy ForrestBrown and member of HMRC’s R&D Consultative Committee.
“We’re in the middle of the biggest public health and economic crisis of our generation,” Tragner comments. “R&D will quite literally be the solution to the pandemic, everything from helping businesses to reopen safely to the vaccine itself. And we know from harsh lessons learned during the previous recession that protecting private sector investment in R&D will also be critical to economic recovery. This annual survey should be giving us valuable insight into the state of business R&D in the UK, but it simply fails to do so.”
On reading the 25-page report and accompanying data tables, Tragner said, “While these figures are interesting for those in the R&D tax industry, they actually reveal very little real insight. Despite these figures covering the 2018-19 tax year, the most recent complete data comes from 2017-18. If we