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HMRC enhances compliance checks on R&D tax credit claims


Published: 15 Jun 2022 Update History

Tax credit claimants advised to expect longer processing times.

HMRC has announced that to prevent abuse of research and development (R&D) tax credit payments, it is enhancing its extensive compliance checks. These additional checks will mean HMRC’s standard processing times will increase.  

HMRC had previously notified agents via 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 continuing, It has 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.

The guidance on gov.uk will be updated shortly. HMRC has shared this update to notify legitimate claimants that their tax credit payments will take longer to be processed.

The agent forum post says, “We appreciate agents’ and claimants’ patience while we handle these claims”. HMRC also requests that this guidance is followed:

  • 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. 

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