BMTA are working with GovGrant to provide members and readers of our newsletter with access to professional advice on tax credits.
The 2018 Budget included measures designed to support new technologies and innovation after HMRC research showed that, although there was a continued upward trend in the number of claims from innovative businesses during the past twelve months, there is a still a shocking lack of knowledge among businesses of the advantages of innovation tax credits and the role tax breaks can play in delivering future success.
The Government announced additional support for cutting edge science and technologies that ministers believe will “transform the economy and create highly-skilled. £1.6 billion will strengthen the UK’s global leadership in science and innovation and reinforces the UK’s commitment to a strong environment for international scientific collaboration. This forms part of the Government’s £7 billion in research and development since 2016.
Money will be going to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (£1.1bn, including:
· Up to £121 million for Made Smarter to support the transformation of manufacturing through digitally-enabled technologies, such as the Internet of Things and virtual reality
· Up to £78 million for the Stephenson Challenge, supporting innovation in electric motor technology, making vehicles lighter and more efficient than ever before
The Government announced £235 million to support the development and commercialisation of quantum technologies, including £35 million to support a new national quantum computing centre. These technologies will transform capabilities in computing, sensing and communications, bringing promising new approaches to solving global problems such as disease and climate change.
On enterprise taxes the Chancellor plans to increase the annual investment allowance to £1m for all investment in plant and machinery between Jan 2019 and December 2021, in order to encourage investment and stimulate productivity.
New non-residential structures and buildings will be eligible for a 2% capital allowance where all the contracts for the physical construction works are entered into on or after 29 October 2018. This is designed to improve the international competitiveness of the UK’s tax system.
And to support longer term business investments, the minimum qualifying period for entrepreneurs’ relief will be extended from 12 months to 24 months from the start of the new tax year.
The Government is plainly serious about the UK’s R&D, and the overall industrial strategy has some laudable aims, but the measures in the Budget still feel somewhat piecemeal and underscore a lack of ambition. A Government commitment to raise R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 will only get the UK to where Germany is today, and GovGrant believes a bolder approach is required. The HMRC ‘s own research found that £2.9bn of tax relief claimed in 2015-16 stimulated up to £6.8bn of additional R&D investment.