HMRC getting heavy on R&D claims
HMRC have started writing letters to some companies that have been making claims for Research and Development (R&D) relief suggesting that they may be fraudulent. This is the result of the system being abused by some spurious claims, but the tone of the letter may alarm some recipients.
The HMRC Fraud Investigations Services unit has made the following statement
“We have recently seen some concerning claims. To prevent abuse of the Research & Development relief and protect legitimate customers, we have conducted additional checks. Where evidence leads us to believe that fraudulent claims may have been made, we will issue these letters which ask for more information to help verify the claims.
We have not written to R&D claimants accusing them of fraud. These letters state that we have not opened a criminal investigation into suspected fraud but reserve the right to do so.”
The letter invites recipients to get in touch with HMRC within 30 days if they believe their claim is genuine. It warns that anything a company might say to HMRC about their claim could be used as evidence in respect of any future criminal investigation.
Please contact us immediately if you receive such a letter.
Help to Grow: Digital Scheme expanded
The government scheme that cuts the price of leading software, boosting productivity and growth of UK small businesses, will now benefit even more firms. The Digital Scheme eligibility has been expanded to businesses with at least one employee, meaning up to 1.2 million businesses could benefit.
This means businesses can now access a £5,000 discount on 30 software solutions from 14 leading technology suppliers for eCommerce, Digital Accounting and Customer Relationship Management software.
Additionally, the government has announced that Help to Grow: Digital will support one-to-one advice for SMEs on how best they can adopt digital technology. The government will be launching applications for advice platforms to partner with the scheme from today, and the advice service will go live later this year.
New reforms making it unlawful for employers to withhold tips from staff
New legislation to make it unlawful for employers to withhold tips from staff means that customers will be certain that all tips go to hard-working employees. The Tipping Bill will benefit more than 2 million workers and, for the first time, will give them the right to see an employer’s tipping record.
Despite most hospitality workers (many of whom earn the National Minimum Wage) relying on tips to top up their pay, there are still businesses that fail to pass on service charges from customers to their staff.
The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill will ensure that all tips go to staff by making it unlawful for businesses to hold back service charges from their employees.