HMRC has announced its plans to enhance its extensive compliance checks to prevent abuse of research and development (R&D) tax credit payments. These additional checks will mean HMRC’s standard processing times will increase.
HMRC had previously notified agents on its agent forum that it had paused some R&D tax credit payments while it investigated an increase in irregular claims. HMRC’s investigations are still continuing and have so far provided a further update via the agent forum.
For the vast majority of claims, HMRC aims to either pay the payable tax credit or contact the claimant regarding the claim within 40 days. HMRC’s ambition is to return to its standard 28-day processing times “as soon as it is able” however.
The guidance on gov.uk will also be updated soon, as HMRC has shared this update to notify legitimate claimants that their tax credit payments will take longer to be processed.
The agent forum post said: “We appreciate agents’ and claimants’ patience while we handle these claims. To help HMRC process R&D payments quickly, ensure all entries are completed on the R&D section of the corporation tax return (CT600 form). Submitting additional information to support the claim, such as the R&D report, will help HMRC process the claim quicker. Review the latest guidance on completing the CT600 form on GOV.UK.
“If a claim is submitted that is incorrect, inflated, or fraudulent then you may be liable to a penalty. Read HMRC: standards for agents. HMRC asks claimants not to contact the R&D helpline/mailbox to chase their claims. HMRC also asks agents not to contact any HMRC official about a claim. Instead, agents should check the company’s online account to check the status of the claim.”