Champion Accountants

Preston business advisors, Champion Accountants, has reached a significant milestone after helping its clients claim £15million in Research and Development (R&D) tax relief.

This figure represents a 100 per cent success rate, with Champion Accountants successful on every R&D claim that it’s made so far on behalf of a client.

The money claimed as part of the Government’s R&D tax credit scheme is helping businesses to grow and innovate further by delivering huge tax savings and potential cashback from HMRC.

One local business benefiting from Champion’s R&D services is Bespoke Digital Agency. The Preston-based web specialist, which provides online lead generation and online shopping services. has invested heavily in a bespoke e-commerce and CMS system that allows the build of flexible, Google-optimised custom websites cost-effectively.

Champion identified a £59,000 spend on development activities and helped Bespoke claim a £14,000 cash refund.

Steve Brennan, managing director at Bespoke, said: “R&D has massively changed our decision making and encouraged us to innovate and invest. Clients that use our software can also claim relief, helping to cut their own costs and enhance our position when pitching for future business.”

Despite the growing demand for Champion’s R&D services, many potential claimants, particularly SMEs, are losing out by overlooking R&D. Recent figures from HMRC shows that only 17,135 SMEs claimed R&D relief in 2016 – a minute number when the UK is home to 5.4 million small and medium businesses.

The type of activity that qualifies is wide-ranging, from solving customer problems, development of new products to adapting internal processes, with many businesses unknowingly performing R&D tasks on a daily basis.

R&D tax relief enables businesses to claim £46 for every £100 spent on qualifying costs, includingwages, materials, overheads and software, as well as the ability to claim cash back from HMRC. Any loss-making SMEs that are yet to make a profit can also claim £33 for every £100 invested in R&D.

First time claims can also include R&D spends over the last two financial years. For example, a company with an accounting year ending on 31 December 2015 has until 31 December 2017 to submit a claim.

David Herd, R&D tax advisor at Champion Accountants, added: “There are plenty of myths out there about R&D tax credits, yet it’s broader than so many realise. Sectors like food and beverages and manufacturing, for example, are actually some of the biggest investors in R&D because they need cutting-edge technology and processes.

“Clients often say it’s too good to be true and it will take a lot of time and resource to put in a claim, which again, isn’t correct. We’ve been advising businesses for a number of years and understand the intricacies of R&D, meaning that we can often decide in less than 15 minutes whether a claim is worth progressing.

“My advice to every business is to approach R&D with an open mind. All it takes is a quick call that could potentially lead to thousands in savings and play a big part in boosting your bottom line.”

Andrew Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Lancashire. Business Lancashire is a good news, Lancashire focused, business website and daily newsletter. It is a partnership between The Samuel James Group and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Lancashire.