Truro-based chartered accountant, Robinson Reed Layton, has calculated that its work helped clients claim almost £150k from HMRC in 2016 alone due to research and development tax credits.

Steve Maggs, Robinson Reed Layton’s tax partner, commented: “I’m delighted that our work helped our clients reclaim almost £150k in tax last year thanks to this relief, which is frequently underutilised.

“Our team of chartered tax advisers is continually looking at how our clients can benefit from a range of reliefs, including R&D tax credits, which I believe is under claimed, particularly considering the amount of innovation that is taking place within Cornish businesses.”

The latest figures released by HMRC show that, for the tax year 2015/16, 1,750 SMEs in the south west made claims relating to R&D tax credits, which equated to £80 million in relief being claimed in the region. Nationally, SME claims increased by 22%, with the value of all claims across the UK now exceeding £1.3 billion.

Maggs explained that despite the increases, businesses are often unaware that they could be claiming this valuable relief. “We’ve helped businesses in a range of industries to claim R&D Tax Credits, from renewable energy to leisure,” he said. “Too many businesses still miss out as they think of R&D as scientists in white coats in laboratories.

“The test is not whether you have qualified for the Nobel Prize – it is whether you were confronted with a problem that required you to invent or adapt existing technology to arrive at a new solution.”