Getting your due for R&D activities can be quick, painless and deliver significant capital for re-investment. R&D Tax specialist R&D Tax Claims shares a manufacturing case study to prove the point.
Strongs Plastic Products, based in Tamworth, West Midlands, reclaimed over £30,000 from HMRC under the R&D corporation tax reclaim scheme.
The company was founded 34 years ago by managing director Barry Strong, who began by building wooden battery boxes for electric milk floats in his garage.
Strongs now manufactures plastic fabrications for a diverse global market in the transport, aerospace and construction sectors, supplying fabrications for a variety of applications including fire engines, incident support vehicles and lifting platforms.
Strongs employ 40 people at its 20,000 sq ft factory and has an annual turnover of over £3 million. The company recently took on a large adjacent site to cope with expansion in 2013.
Barry’s son James Strong, 34, is technical sales director. He joined the company as a school leaver. “My grandfather and father started building automated welding machines for plastic battery boxes, as they were more efficient than wooden ones. We progressed into more bespoke auxiliary plastic products, including transport packaging.”
Strongs now manufactures a range of plastic polymer products including conveyer systems and complete interiors of incident support vehicles. “This applies our specialist welding techniques on high grade polymer fabrications to create bespoke products,” explains James Strong. “Polymers have excellent flame retardant qualities, are light, will not corrode or fracture under stress and are fully recyclable.”
Keeping development fresh
To cater to the individual needs of customers James Strong says research and development at his company is constant. “We have specific projects for clients that we develop, including specialist packaging for transportation of parts from one production area to another. We also have in-house product development.”
Mr Strong says that although the company had been made aware of the R&D tax reclaim scheme several years ago by its accountants it had found itself unable to progress with the claims.
“It was frustrating. It seemed like a tremendous amount of work to gather the information to prove the case,” he explains. “We were more intent on keeping our customers happy and progressing the business than looking at what we had already done to prove that we carry out R&D – we know we do!”
Turning to R&D Tax Claims for help, Mr Strong says he was given a smooth and managed process for reclaiming the company’s money. “They worked with our designers, developers and engineers on site, together with ourselves to get information that was factual and relevant. We didn’t have to spend half the time we were led to believe was necessary.”
Mark Evans, managing director of R&D Tax Claims says that Strongs’ reclaim case was sped up thanks to its excellent attention to recording its activities. “We worked fast to submit before the company year-end and confirmation from HMRC took just two weeks,” states Mr Evans.
“Some clients question why we succeed in doing what other accountants say is impossible or too much hard and costly work. We succeed because we have a team of technical people who understand the manufacturing sector – one of our team is a manufacturing consultant and they can quickly pick up the R&D element of any case to write a report that the Revenue will accept,” Mr Evans continues.
“Our reports are not just a table of figures; we include a full detailed case study as researched evidence.”
Nor is this a one-off service. “Every year we revisit the company, assess what R&D occurred in that year and put a fresh claim to HMRC,” says Mr Evans.
“We have a 100 percent success rate and a very happy client base,” he sums up. “Manufacturers are consistently showing us the way out of this recession and deserve all the support they can get. I’m delighted that Strongs are now expanding their facility and that 2013 is looking extremely bright for them.”