Since 8 August 2023, claims for research and development tax relief require completion of an additional information form (AIF). However, almost half of all claims received by HMRC between 8 August and 3 September have not included the form.

HMRC is writing to companies and agents that have submitted claims for research and development (R&D) tax relief without an AIF to advise them that their claims are not valid and have therefore been removed from the relevant company tax return. The AIF is required for claims for both SME R&D tax relief and the R&D expenditure credit (RDEC).

The letter advises the recipient that the return can be updated if it is within the deadline to do so (broadly the anniversary of the filing deadline for the return). ICAEW understands that subsequent completion of the AIF, along with a valid company tax return, would lead to the claim being reinstated by HMRC.

The letter also advises the recipient to tick boxes 656 and 657 of the company tax return, where appropriate, to indicate respectively that a claim notification and an AIF have been submitted. 

However, there is a known error preventing some RDEC claimants from making an entry in both box 655 and box 657 of the company tax return (box 655 indicates that the claim is made by a large company). The error states: 

“Error 9283 — Box 655 can only be completed if at least one of the boxes 670 or 680 is greater than 0 (zero).”

HMRC advises that where the error appears, the company should not make entries in boxes 655 and 657. Instead, the company should include information in the white space on the return that an R&D claim is being made and that the AIF has been completed. However, HMRC emphasises that the company must still submit the AIF to make a valid RDEC claim.

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