New data shows R&D hotspots in the East of England

New data shows R&D hotspots in the East of England

New data published by HMRC has revealed the hotspots for R&D tax relief claims across the East of England.

Hertfordshire-based businesses topped the league for the number of claims for R&D tax credits in 2016-17 at 875 claims, followed by Cambridgeshire on 855 and Essex on 790.

In total, businesses across the East of England submitted 3,870 R&D claims in 2016-17, claiming some £395m in tax relief. Compared to the data reported for the previous year published in February 2018, this represents a 47 per cent rise in the number of claims and a 7 per cent rise in the amounts claimed in R&D tax credits.

The largest number of claims across the region came from manufacturing companies (1,085) who collectively claimed £115m, followed by information and communications firms (880) who claimed £50m, followed by professional, scientific and technical businesses (775) who claimed £150m.

R&D tax credits are a tax relief designed to encourage greater R&D spending, leading in turn to greater investment in innovation. They work by either reducing a company’s liability to corporation tax or providing a cash injection for companies without a tax liability (i.e. loss-making businesses).

Commenting on the new numbers, Sheetal Sanghvi, Regional Head of R&D Tax Credits at RSM said: ‘Compared to the data released this time last year, the latest figures show a healthy rise in the numbers of applications for R&D tax credits, and higher payouts for East of England-based businesses involved in R&D activity.

‘While this is very encouraging, there are some sectors – construction in particular – where the numbers of claims are negligible, despite the likelihood that many are involved in R&D activity.

‘The fact is there could be many more businesses across the East of England that are undertaking R&D work but are missing out on the R&D tax credit payments to which they are entitled.’