Offsite Magazine - Issue 21 (January / February 2020)

Page 30



Specialist tax relief advisors Catax hosted the final Offsite Roundtable of 2019, which explored the challenges associated with the offsite industry’s limited exposure to Research & Development (R&D) tax incentives.

As market leaders, Catax offer tax relief advice to start-ups and SMEs operating in the offsite sector. Tax relief is awarded to businesses that invest in a wide range of innovation including the reduction of CO2 emissions, as well as the use of pioneering materials, the development of sophisticated software and ground-breaking manufacturing techniques. As the offsite industry continues to drive advancements in the construction industry, the sector is still not utilising tax relief benefits to maximise product and process development opportunities. Hosted by Head of R&D for Catax, Nigel Holmes and Regional Business Manager, Chris Jones – the roundtable guests included Joanne Booth, Business Manager at Lucideon, Ben Towe, Group Managing Director at


Hadley Group, Professor Mohammed Arif, Head of the School of Architecture at the University of Wolverhampton, Matt Hallissey, Head of Strategy at Top Hat and facilitated by Darren Richards, Managing Director at Cogent Consulting. Under-Claimed Tax Relief Research and development programmes are seen as expensive because of the iterative processes involved. With first time success uncommon, the ongoing trials and testing can be financially straining. Therefore, it is vital that HMRC has a tax relief system in place to alleviate financial burdens. But the number of offsite manufacturers that are accessing the R&D tax relief scheme and support mechanisms is unusually low. Communications and marketing

campaigns around the benefits of R&D tax relief need to be improved so that construction companies know what it is, where it is and how to access it. HMRC conclude that out of 800,000 qualifying companies in the UK, only 52,000 submitted claims in 201617. That leaves around 750,000 companies that did not access the benefits of R&D tax relief across all sectors. Out of the 52,000 companies that applied for tax relief, construction and ancillary services only made up 2,260 of the claims – including SMEs and large companies. This generated £145million in tax savings. The result it seems, is that R&D tax relief is worthwhile yet vastly under-claimed in the offsite industry.