The manufacturers’ organisation EEF has announced a new partnership with leading R&D tax relief specialists Jumpstart to encourage greater take-up of tax relief amongst North West companies.
Jumpstart will provide expert advice to EEF members in the region, to help those applying for tax credits for the first time and ensure existing claimants receive their full entitlement.
North West companies claimed £130m in R&D tax credits in 2014-15, with SMEs accounting for over half of that figure. However, the sum represents less than 5% of the total R&D expenditure by businesses in the region, one of the lowest proportions of claims in the country.
In the UK as a whole, manufacturers benefited to the tune of £770 million through the tax credit scheme. However, the EEF, which played a leading role in campaigning for the introduction of R&D tax credits, is concerned that many companies are either not taking advantage of the scheme or are not realising their full benefit potential.
The EEF works with over 600 organisations in the North West. Stephen Fitzsimons, its Membership and External Affairs Manager in the region, said: “Manufacturers and engineers innovate all the time – whether that is developing new products, making existing products more environmentally friendly or embracing new technologies – but often they don’t realise their activities may qualify for tax relief. R&D is still seen as something that happens in a laboratory, when in fact it is taking place every day in factories and workplaces throughout the North West.
“As the fourth industrial revolution gets underway, it’s crucial that manufacturers invest in innovation. R&D tax relief is essentially a free source of government support to help offset the cost, and companies need to ensure they are making the most of it. Jumpstart can guide them through the process.”
Wendy Smith from Jumpstart, who is also chair of pro-manchester’s manufacturing sector group, said: “Jumpstart has a lot of experience working with manufacturers and we are delighted to be partnering with the EEF. Companies should be aware that R&D tax credit claims are not just limited to new products or processes, but can for example include improving existing products and manufacturing processes, introducing new materials, developing more robust tooling and resolving issues associated with scaling up manufacturing. Our team of technical analysts all come from a science or industry background. They have the skills to identify eligible activities and present the technical details in the right format to meet HMRC guidelines.”
Photo Caption: Wendy Smith – Business Development Manager