At Cooden – R&D Tax Specialists, we were in somewhat celebratory mood as 2021 drew to a close. On 16 December we received the last payout of the year into our client account, it was for one of our newly acquired clients in 2021, a specialist veterinary care business based in Wales. This claim was momentous for Cooden as it saw our clients’ Research and Development tax savings top £5 million in a calendar year for the first time.
2021 has been a year of steady growth with a number of new significant businesses becoming clients. We’ve even taken on a Blue Chip Cyber Security business, with a number of claims for their UK-based entities. Our goal was to obtain 4 new clients who would have claims of over £75k, in the end we took on 6.
We don’t have a vast number of businesses in the green/sustainability space, which I suppose is one of the reasons we are writing these articles for the Green Business Journal. Our leader in the space has to be Tensei, they are in the process of developing high quality papers from straw. Another business with Green credentials at its heart are a Vegan Cheese company we’ve been working with in Kent, we’re on the verge of completing their first two years’ of claims. We’ve also just been engaged by a company developing Vegan Burgers and Sausages for high end restaurants, we haven’t started on their claim yet, but this could be a very interesting one.
Actually, the more I look through our client list, the more businesses I seem to find. There’s the feminine hygiene brand that are working on reusable products, organic cotton-based products and developing alternatives to plastic applicators at the same time as offering a subscription based model that is as flexible as the feminine body. Then there is the Electric Trials bike company, OSET Bikes who have been designing and developing a range of Electric Trials Bikes for the last 15 years and have recently finished a Knowledge Transfer partnership with the University of Brighton, home of Clean Growth UK, one of the leading bodies for sustainability in the UK. Finally there is the engineering business looking to harness the power of the sun to power our railways, they’ve been involved in a number of funded projects from both Innovate UK and the Rail Safety and Standards Board.
At the end of it. they are all just our clients, I reckon if I spent another 20 minutes going through everyone on our client list, there would probably be another 2 or 3 that would definitely be described as “Sustainable” or “Green”. Ooh, yes, there’s the International Hop Processing business that were experimenting with the fines from processed hops as a beer stabilizer rather than using fish products, but they also have a patent for a product that is used by some beer manufacturers to prevent excess foam formation during fermentation on that was manufactured from a waste product from another part of hop processing.
You might think, I ‘ve done this deliberately, but I swear, the more I looked, the more I found, because we didn’t necessarily class them as “green” or “sustainable”, but they are all undertaking projects that have an element of this to them. It’s funny how the mind plays tricks on you.
It can be the same for you as a business owner when you are considering whether you have been performing research and development within your company. The default answer tends to be, it’s not research and development, we are just doing what we have always done, solved problems, overcome some technical issues with a new product or a product update, engineered out a design flaw in one of our established products, looked to fundamentally redesign the manufacturing process so that we generate less waste. It’s just what we do.
We’ve never filed an R&D Tax Relief Claim, because we don’t think that we are performing any R&D and no one has really told us any different and challenged our way of thinking. Well, if you always do what you have always done, don’t be surprised if you keep getting the same results.
Stop! Take some time, consider what you have been doing, ask yourself:
• Could anyone else have done this without spending a lot of time and effort doing it?
• Would someone like to steal it or copy it?
• Would someone have paid us a lot of money for you to do it for them?
• Did we go through a lot of heart ache trying to get to the end of this?
• Have we suffered a scientific or technological failure that has prevented us from completing the project?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ve probably been doing some R&D and it might be worth getting in touch, just like all of our new clients in 2021 who have discovered that claiming for R&D Tax Relief wasn’t quite so taxing as they might have thought and ultimately for many of them was very rewarding, so why not see if you have the same feelings at the end of your journey.
It would appear as though our stress-free service offering has gone down very well with our customers. It consists of
- a no-obligation discovery session to determine your eligibility prior to starting the claim;
- a low-hassle data collection process for both the financial element and the technical element of claims; and
- the use of our client account to receive funds and for visibility to chase HMRC when they haven’t been forthcoming.
So, there really are few reasons left for you not to at least have an initial discussion with our Director, Simon Bulteel, but just in case you have any others:
- If you are worried that it might not be worth it, our average claim value was just under £75,000;
- If you are worried that we can’t handle large claims, our largest claim was for just under £700,000 for a scaling up Cyber-Security business and our next largest claim was over £575,000 for a technology company delivering banking solutions for Instant Payments.
- If you are worried, you’ll be wasting our time, you won’t, our smallest claim was for just under £1,500 for a start-up skincare business.
- If you are worried that HMRC are going to punish you for making a claim, we’ve had one enquiry in 2021 into a Patent Box claim, where HMRC couldn’t find a patent in the name of the company.
There really are no reasons left to stop you. We are here to guide you, just like we have over a 150 businesses before you, to a successful and rewarding R&D Tax Credits claim. With new changes coming in 2023, there has never been a better time to start claiming for your new product developments or improvements and with the ability to claim for two prior years, you could see a significant boost to your 2022 cashflow. You can book your no-obligation discovery session at a time that suits you by visiting https://calendly.com/simon-bulteel/discovery-gbj