Funding innovation

Posted on 12 Nov 2015 by The Manufacturer

TM sits down with Martin Hook, UK managing director of Alma Consulting Group, a European innovation funding specialist, to discuss how the firm is supporting UK manufacturers to capitalise on R&D tax relief.

We know that Alma CG has worked within the automotive industry, what other industries have you been working with?

Martin Hook, Managing Director, Alma Consulting Group.
Martin Hook, managing director, Alma Consulting Group.

The beauty of the UK R&D tax credit and relief schemes is that they’re open to any industry: the legislation is remarkably inclusive.

We work with businesses of all shapes and sizes, and across a wide variety of industries, to help them claim R&D tax relief. The eligible work they’ve undertaken also varies significantly.

If you look at even a handful of our manufacturing clients you can see their diversity: from high tech night vision goggles through to biscuits and packaging.

How do you differentiate between sectors when tailoring your advice to their specific needs?

Our team includes a wide range of technical specialists such as engineers, scientists and software experts, who then receive in-depth tax training.

What this means is that we are able to offer all of our clients knowledge and services tailored to their industry.

Rather than just knowing about UK tax legislation, and how R&D tax credits fits into that, our consultants have a genuine understanding of our clients’ specific sectors.

So we’re able to dig much deeper into the workings of their business and projects, and can compile a much more robust and comprehensive R&D tax claim for them.

Does R&D tax relief advice differ depending on the size of the company?

There are different schemes available depending on both the size of your business and your tax position.

If you qualify as an SME, you could receive up to 33.35p of tax relief per £1 of eligible expenditure. As a large company this could be up to 8.8p per £1. R&D tax credits are available for some loss making companies, which result in a generous cash injection.

Otherwise, you can reduce your payable corporation tax through R&D tax relief.

Why do you think companies don’t take advantage of R&D tax relief?

We regularly come across businesses that don’t realise this tax relief applies to them. The definition of R&D for tax purposes is actually much broader than you might think.

If your business projects ever present challenges or uncertainties, which could take time and resource to overcome, then there’s a good chance you could be claiming too.

What are the outcomes for firms not capitalising on this?

The figures above speak for themselves. This is a generous tax incentive. All businesses can benefit from a cash injection or relief against payable corporation tax.

You’d never willingly give your competitors a commercial advantage, so why would you ignore the benefits of R&D tax while your competitors benefit?

What’s next in the pipeline for Alma CG?

We’ve just achieved a key business milestone, having claimed £100m of tax benefits for our UK clients.

Alma Consulting Group LinkWe’re also on target to have achieved nearly 400% growth over the past four years (2011 – 2015) and in this financial year alone we will be approaching 50% growth from the previous year.

This means we’re on the hunt for talented individuals from all technical backgrounds to join our London-based team, and we’re busy welcoming a fascinating range of new clients too.

2016 looks set to be another great year for clients and staff of Alma CG.