Take a look at some of our most frequently asked questions below. If your question isn't answered here, please get in touch and one of our experts will be happy to help.

What is the R&D Tax Relief scheme all about?

In 2000 the UK Government launched this EU-supported incentive. It is designed to support SMEs and Large Companies to innovate and increase their spending on R&D activities.

What qualifies as R&D expenditure?

The key element is that the product or service you’re planning to include in your claim is truly innovative and is, at a technological level, an advance on what’s currently available in the market. It’s our job to work with you to gather the evidence that will satisfy HMRC’s criteria, so that you don’t have to worry about interpreting the terminology. One key point is that R&D can still qualify even if the project is not successful.

How long does it take to process a claim?

With the help of Nova, the time required to submit a claim is around 4 hours from sign-up to submission to MPA. Your claim will be checked by one of our technical experts and submitted to HMRC on your behalf. Currently the end-to-end the process takes approximately 6 weeks.

How accurate is the claim estimate?

The current R&D tax credit rates for SMEs is 33% for every £1 spent. Nova estimates your claim using this calculation and the information you provide about your qualifying expenditure.

How will my claim be paid?

Once the HMRC has approved your claim, payments are made to MPA who receive them on your behalf and make payments to you, minus our fee, via your preferred means.

What is a CT600?

Corporation Tax 600 is a Company tax return document outlining your enhanced expenditure. You will need this to submit your claim.

What does technical uncertainty mean?

Technical uncertainty is one of the HMRC criteria which highlights the technical issues that you tried to solve during the claim period.

Why do I need to submit two project examples?

Providing two examples to support your claim isn't compulsory. However in our experience, we've found that submitting two examples of technical projects that you worked on makes it easier to demonstrate to HMRC that you are conducting eligible R&D.

Do I need to keep records of reimbursed expenses?

Although you don't need to submit these with your claim, we would recommend keeping a record, just in case HMRC requests them. If items are purchased personally and not via the company i.e. via a company credit card, you could include these in your claim.

Why is there a character limit against text entry boxes?

By making the report a certain length, it is easier to understand and digest for HMRC.

When I submit my claim, will someone at MPA review it?

Yes. We are fully behind you every step of the way and ensure that before submitting to HMRC all our claims are reviewed by our team of experts.

If I have brought forward losses, should I make a claim?

If you made a profit this period, we would suggest you contact us for advice before starting a claim with Nova.

Brought forward losses may mean you don't pay any corporation tax, but you would still need to pay your Nova fee.

For example:

If your losses brought forward total £200,000, and you made £100,000 profit this period, you would have £100,000 in losses to carry forward. Making a claim will increase your carry forward losses and you will need to pay the 10% Nova fee - although you wouldn't get any money back until you utilise those losses in later years.

If you're loss-making this period, then it's not a problem; you can still cash in those losses.

How far back can I claim R&D tax relief?

Claims can go back two full financial years.

Why can't I just submit a claim by myself?

The detail of how the scheme works, and what is eligible expenditure is not straightforward. Working with Nova (which has been developed by MPA) will minimise the time required for your business to submit the claim, and we will ensure that you optimise the value of your claim avoiding a potential HMRC compliance check.

What if I am already using my accountant to submit my claim?

Making a claim is not just a numbers exercise. Our analysts can identify when things like system integration protocols, reducing data search times or building an OLAP database represent an advance or innovation; knowledge that you wouldn’t expect your accountant to have. The accounting treatment of R&D tax credits is not straightforward. Nine out of every ten claims that we review, when taking on a new client, have been calculated incorrectly for one reason or another. This is why working with MPA to support your accountant can make a huge difference to the value of your claim.

What if I am already using a specialist to submit my claim?

Nine out of every ten claims that we review, when taking on a new client, have been calculated incorrectly for one reason or another. Because of our in-depth knowledge of your business sector, Nova can minimise your involvement and optimise your claim. Why not use Nova as a benchmark against your existing claims, and see if you are optimising your claim, and make sure that you are not in danger of having to undergo a time-consuming HMRC enquiry?

Can I claim if my company is loss-making?

Reporting a loss should NOT prevent a business from making an R&D tax credit claim. A loss-making SME can recoup up to 33.35% of its R&D expenditure via the scheme – a significant boost for any company. This is, in fact, a higher proportion of R&D expenditure than a profit-making business could claim for! A successful claim can release a cash injection into your business after your accounting year end, allowing you to continue with the investment that’s vital to facilitate growth.

What if the project we worked on wasn't successful?

That’s not a problem. Research and development can inevitably result in some project failures. The eligibility for the scheme is not dependent on the outcome of the project, only on whether the spend qualifies.

Can I claim for spend incurred overseas?

Potentially yes, but this is an area that requires an expert view, to understand fully how your business and activities are organised and to ensure that all eligible expenditure is recognised. We have a team of tax experts that will do just that and can ensure that your claim is optimised.

Why choose Nova?

As an online tool, Nova is the most efficient way of completing your claim, saving you both time and money.

Why is Nova cheaper than my usual service?

Nova has been developed to save time for small businesses wishing to take advantage of the R&D tax credits scheme. Nova offers the experience gained by our experts through delivering over 2700 claims, and guidance through the claims process with a significantly lower completion time. In short, Nova is a more efficient way of completing claims for smaller businesses. This time saving equates directly into a financial saving for our clients.

Why am I being recommended to use Nova rather than my usual service?

Because Nova is a more efficient way of completing your claim, as the process can be completed online – it will produce a fully-compliant claim, which is checked by our usual teams. We are always looking for ways to improve our services, and Nova has allowed us to do that, bringing direct financial and time savings to our clients.

Will Nova deliver the same claim amount as a face to face meeting with MPA?

Your claim is important to us, and our process remains the same, meaning any claims coming from Nova will be passed through our technical experts as well as our tax team to ensure the best outcome.

I am existing customer, can I use Nova?

Existing customers with qualifying expenditures under £75,000 are able to use this service. If you have a claim over this amount, contact MPA directly on 01234 912 000.

How do I register?

Registration is very simple, simply click the link below and complete the short form, this will give you access to the Nova portal and you can begin your claim, register here.

If I get stuck, will there be someone to help me?

Yes, we have a dedicated telephone number - 01234 912015, email address - nova@mpa.co.uk, and live chat so you are never alone in completing your claim.

How can I delete a claim?

If you have submitted a claim in error, please give us a call and we will be able to help you further.

How do I change/reset my password?

Change or reset your password at anytime. Just visit the profile section or click here.

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