Delays to R&D claims

ICAEW members have reported considerable delays in HMRC's processing of Research and Development (R&D) claims, affecting both SME R&D relief and R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) claims. The Tax Faculty understood that the backlog was about four months so raised the issue with HMRC and has received the following response.

‘A combination of recent staff losses and very high volumes of claims has meant that we have been unable to turn around claims as quickly as we would like. We’re constantly reviewing our processes to manage peaks, and we’re currently taking the following actions to reduce delays:

  • A recovery plan is in place to bring payable tax credits back on track, while tackling the backlog of RDEC payments
  • We have redeployed staff from other work areas and recruited new staff to speed up processing and payments
  • We are committed to keeping agents updated on the latest position, with a weekly update to Research and Development Consultative Committee members. We have also introduced updated ‘auto response’ messaging to emails sent to the R&D mailbox, to keep our customers informed.

These improvements are beginning to take effect.’

If you have feedback on the processing of R&D claims or any other specific types of HMRC correspondence please contact or report the issue on the HMRC online agent forum.