Selecting the right R&D tax consultant is crucial for maximising your claim and ensuring compliance. Read on to find out the 5 key factors that the R&D tax credit experts at Williamson & Croft think you should prioritise when making your choice. 

1. Industry Expertise & Qualifications 

    When choosing an R&D tax credit advisor, look for firms that are regulated with industry bodies such as ACCA and ICAEW, or advisors with recognised qualifications such as Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) status or membership in the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT). These credentials demonstrate a deep understanding of tax regulations and best practices.

    Also, consider advisors with industry-specific knowledge relevant to your business. An advisor familiar with your sector can more effectively identify qualifying R&D activities and associated costs.

    2. Track record & success rate

      A strong track record is a good indicator of an R&D tax credit advisor’s competence. Look for:

      • Years of experience in R&D tax credits
      • Number of successful claims
      • Average claim values
      • Client testimonials and case studies

      Don’t hesitate to ask for references or examples of their work with businesses similar to yours. Ensure they have stellar reviews from past clients.

      3. Technical knowledge

      R&D tax credit claims require a sophisticated blend of tax expertise and technical understanding. When selecting an advisor, it’s crucial to ensure they possess comprehensive, up-to-date knowledge of the evolution of R&D tax credit legislation. This knowledge should be complemented by a keen awareness of recent changes in HMRC guidelines, as the landscape of R&D tax credits can shift rapidly. 

      Your chosen advisor should demonstrate the ability to interpret complex regulations and apply them accurately to your specific situation. Ideally, they should have a diverse team that includes both tax specialists and industry experts. 

      This multidisciplinary approach allows for a thorough understanding of both the tax implications and the technical aspects of your R&D activities, resulting in a more robust and defensible claim.

      4. Process, communication & support 

      A good R&D tax credit advisor should have a clear, transparent process for claim preparation. This typically includes:

      • Initial assessment of your R&D activities
      • Detailed information gathering
      • Preparation of supporting documentation
      • Review and approval process
      • Submission of the claim

      Look for advisors who prioritise clear communication and offer ongoing support throughout the process. They should be responsive to your queries and able to explain complex R&D tax concepts in simple terms.

      5. Fees & pricing structure

      Fee structures can vary between advisors. Common models include contingency fees (percentage of successful claims), fixed fees and hybrid models.

      Make sure that you fully understand what’s included in the fee. For instance, some advisors include HMRC enquiry support as standard, while others charge extra for this service. This is especially important when you consider the rising cost of tax credit compliance.

      Consider the value for money rather than just the lowest price. A slightly higher fee might be worthwhile if it comes with a more comprehensive service and potentially larger claim value.

      Get in touch with Williamson & Croft’s R&D tax credit specialists

      Choosing the right R&D tax credit advisor can significantly impact your claim’s success and value. At Williamson & Croft, our expert accountants in Manchester and Liverpool offer expert R&D tax credit services tailored to your business needs. Contact us today for a free consultation and see how we can help maximise your R&D tax relief.

      Speak to the team at Williamson & Croft today to discuss the particulars of your case. Get in touch today.

      FAQs about choosing an R&D tax credit advisor

      Can I use any accountant to do my R&D tax credit claims?

      While many accountants offer R&D tax credit services, it’s not typically their speciality. R&D tax credits require specific expertise in both tax regulations and technical aspects of R&D. A specialist R&D tax credit advisor is often better equipped to maximise your claim while ensuring compliance.

      Can I claim retrospectively for R&D tax relief?

      Yes, you can claim R&D tax relief retrospectively for up to two accounting periods. If you think you’ve been carrying out qualifying R&D activities in the past but haven’t claimed, it’s worth speaking to an R&D tax specialist to explore your options.