The government is seeking views on ways to make it easier for companies to claim research and development (R&D) tax credits.
The tax credit regime provides valuable tax benefits to companies investing in R&D that advances science or technology.
Currently, around 15,000 large, medium and small companies claim R&D tax credits, receiving more than £1.4 billion in support each year.
Launching the consultation on 16 January, David Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “R&D investment by smaller firms is vital for the performance of the UK economy, and small and medium enterprises accounted for over 80 per cent of all R&D claims in 2012-13.
“I want to make sure that the relief is accessible for all small companies. That is why we are introducing a new advanced assurance service for small companies making their first claim.
“This consultation aims to identify further improvements to make the tax credits even better and ensure that firms of all sizes who make this vital R&D investment can access the relief in the best way possible.”
The consultation, which runs until 27 February, will focus on four factors affecting whether companies make claims:
- awareness of the credits
- design of the rules
- understanding of the rules
- claims processing and administration.