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Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT) is a framework of guidance that sets out the professional standards that are expected of professional bodies when undertaking “tax work.”

This  guidance was recently extended to provide direction on the provision of R&D tax relief services. The key points are that members must carry out work with proper regard for technical and professional standards AND not undertake professional work they are not competent to perform.

The requirements of competence in relation to R&D tax relief work are:

  • Industry sector specific technical knowledge, understanding and insight
  • Tax specific knowledge and experience
  • Insight into HMRC’s interpretation of relevant legislation

Given the PCRT guidance and the criteria defining competency outlined above, it’s no great surprise that a significant proportion of professionals (mainly accountants) who were previously happy to be involved in preparing R&D tax relief claims, are now actively involving specialists to help them.

This is a sensible move, as there are numerous risks associated with using someone unqualified in the field of R&D tax relief to prepare claims, including; 

  • not clearly identifying eligible activities, 
  • inaccurate recording of eligible expenditure,
  • miscalculation of benefits and
  • poor presentation of supporting evidence. 

All of these shortcomings ultimately lead to inaccurate claims which could result in a time-consuming and potentially costly enquiry from HMRC.


Make UK members who have questions relating to R&D tax relief or wish to discuss the implications of recent changes to the R&D tax relief scheme, can contact Sandy Findlay on 07807 739033 or email [email protected]

About Visiativ

Visiativ is a leading international tax incentive and innovation management advisor. They already help many Make UK members accelerate their innovation activity by identifying and securing appropriate funding in the form of grants, tax incentives or commercial funding.

With 30+ years heritage and 200 experts, Visiativ manage £1.6billion of innovation incentives annually across 19 countries, for some of the world's best-known brands.

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