HMRC has temporarily paused the payment of research & development tax credits while it investigates some "irregular claims".
A number of accountancy firms have recently been contacted advising the decision. It is understood that the majority of R&D tax credit claims will not be affected, although claimants are being advised to expect delays to the usual processing times while HMRC tries to prevent abuse of the relief.
Claimants are asked not to contact the R&D helpline/ mailbox to chase their claims, instead they may check their online account for updates on the status of claims.
HMRC is reminding companies that completing all relevant sections of the CT600 corporation tax return, and submitting additional information in support of any R&D claim, may also help them to process claims more quickly.
The R&D tax credit schemes provide financial support to companies who undertake qualifying research & development activities in the fields of science or technology. HMRC has expressed concern, however, that the schemes are open to abuse, and many commentators believe that significant reforms are on the Chancellor's agenda.