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Startup Guides Feb 11, 2021 3 min read

Your Guide to R&D Advance Assurance

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Anoushka Gupta

R&D Advance Assurance is a great way to make your next three R&D claims hassle-free and increase the confidence of investors that you’re doing real innovation. While many people know about R&D tax credits, few know about R&D Advance Assurance and its benefits. This article will help you learn more about what R&D Advance Assurance is, who can apply for it and how to complete your application on SeedLegals.

What is R&D Advance Assurance?

R&D Advance Assurance is a guarantee from HMRC that R&D tax relief claims submitted in the first three financial periods after the approval of the R&D Advance Assurance will be automatically approved, as long as the final R&D claim will be in line with what was discussed in the R&D Advance Assurance. While it’s not necessary to apply for the Advance Assurance before you start your first R&D claim, it is useful to make the process of claiming R&D tax credits quicker. It is also a good way for your investors to know that their funds will be used on R&D and their money will go further.

Who can apply for R&D Advance Assurance?

To be eligible for R&D Advance Assurance, you must be able to confirm that your company:

  • is planning to do R&D or already has done R&D – see what qualifies
  • is an active company
  • has not claimed R&D tax credits previously
  • if it is part of a group, no company in the group should have claimed R&D tax credits previously
  • must have an annual turnover below £2 Million
  • must be eligible to pay corporation tax in the UK
  • must not have more than 50 employees
  • must not be a serious tax defaulter or used a tax avoidance scheme

When and how to apply for R&D Advance Assurance

You can apply for R&D Advance Assurance anytime before your first R&D tax credits claim. The best time to apply is when you know that you’ll be undertaking activities that would qualify as R&D activities in the next few years. You’ll only be able to apply for Advance Assurance once during the lifetime of the company.

The R&D Advance Assurance is very fast to complete as HMRC understands that you don’t know yet all the details of your R&D, so the level of detail required is not as high as with the full R&D claim. It will usually take a maximum of a couple of hours to complete. Follow these step to complete your R&D Advance Assurance application on SeedLegals:

1. Start your R&D Advance Assurance application
To start your R&D Advance Assurance application, log into SeedLegals and go to the R&D Cashback tab to start your R&D Advance Assurance application. Carefully read the eligibility requirements and confirm that you meet these requirements.

2. Complete the Application Questions
Follow the instructions on SeedLegals to complete your application form so we can review it for you. The R&D Advance Assurance form includes the Qualifying Questions, Company Information, information about the R&D activities your plan to undertake and the expected R&D Expenditure.

3. Unlock the R&D Advance Assurance application
After you’ve completed your application questions, you can sign the application and make the payment. Our R&D experts will review your application and get back to you within 3 days with any comments they may have so your application is in line with HMRC requirements. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be able to create, unlock and download the completed R&D Advance Assurance form and Cover Letter.

4. Send your Application to HMRC
We’ll notify you once we’ve reviewed your application and it’s ready to be submitted to HMRC.

HMRC will contact you with further questions about your application. We’ll prepare you for this call, and we’ll send you instructions on what HMRC would like to hear. You’ll hear back from HMRC in 3-4 weeks about the outcome of your application.

Click here to check your eligibility, speak to us and start your R&D Advance Assurance application today!

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