There are several considerations to make when choosing an R&D consultancy service. However, it is a crucial decision that can lead to hundreds of thousands of pounds yearly, lost or gained. Thus, it is always worth your time to choose carefully.
The following are issues you should take into account when hiring an R&D consultant:
General and Industry-Specific Tax Experience?
R&D tax credits are tax perks given by HMRC, so investigate your prospective consultant’s tax qualifications and experience. On the other hand, R&D tax credits are also about tax legislation that affects your particular industry. Make it a point to hire a consultant with such level of tax proficiency.
R&D Tax Credit Claims Completed
Know how many R&D tax claims your prospective company has completed. The acceptable range is 20 to 50 claims a year, though this could well reach over a thousand for certain accountancy practices. Without a doubt, this experience is vital. If the job is done wrong, either HMRC challenges you, or you under-claim.
There are consultants who will invest a significant amount of time studying your business themselves, putting?the claim together and finally submitting it. Others will simply check the forms and paperwork that you yourself have prepared. Every case is different, but if yours is tying you down, then something is clearly not working right. Be wary of consultants who barely see you and even shut you out of the claim process. In the end, your R&D tax credit claim is your own responsibility, so make sure you know and agree to everything that’s in it.
Rate of Enquiry?
All consultants will say they are 100% successful. What you really want to know it their enquiry rate. Anecdotally, the industry average is around 7-9% but this can go as low as 1-2%. As well, see if the quoted fee covers enquiry support. If the answer is no, this might be a significant extra cost during a high-pressure moment when an enquiry is indeed called for.
First and foremost, think about major charges. Do they cover everything or are there concealed extras represented as, for instance, “submission charges?” Another thing you should watch out for, as previously mentioned, is a separate enquiry charge. They can add up pretty fast. Do you have to commit to a long-term contract? Do they seem unsure that their service will be satisfying enough for you to return on your own? Finally, know how you can exit that contract when you think it’s necessary, or if you even can.
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