HMRC Processing Times - Update

Anyone that’s submitted an R&D claim since April will have noticed some considerable delays in the time it is taking HMRC to process - which has affected both SME and RDEC claims.

The delays have been caused by a combination of some recent staff losses and a very high volume of claims received, with the current processing time for SME claims at almost 4 months (well above their 28-day target).

We have many clients that have been waiting significant periods for processing and payment but their frustrations have been heard by HMRC, who are implementing steps to improve their overall service and communication.

As well as recruiting and training more staff, HMRC have introduced a recovery plan to bring SME claims back on track and to tackle the huge backlog of RDEC claims.

Communication has been improved, and (as members of the RDCC - Research and Development Consultative Committee) we are being provided with weekly updates on overall processing times and payment dates for both schemes.

Part of the problem was caused by the large number of claims submitted in April, so HMRC have reviewed their processes and have said they will be implementing changes, to more efficiently manage peaks throughout the year.

We are starting to see a slight improvement already and HMRCs aim is to have all of the processing and payment times (for SME and RDEC claims) back to normal by the 30th September.

With the implementation of new processes there is hope that these long delays can be avoided in the future and that the 28-day target will be achieved moving forwards.

It’s not much consolation to the clients that have been waiting for such a long time, but there does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Call us on 0116 243 1243