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We are hiring!  Come join our market leading R&D Tax Credit team.

Have you a keen interest in science and being able to explain how technology works? Are you inspired by innovation and cutting-edge technologies? Do you enjoy exploring complex ideas and translating them into simple concepts? If so, this could be the job for you.

SciMet R&D is the leading, Irish owned, independent R&D Tax Credit consultancy. We work with many of Ireland’s most dynamic and innovative companies in securing their R&D Tax Credits. Don’t let the word “tax” put you off, the R&D Tax Credit has science and technology at its core and this is where you come in. As part of our multi-disciplinary team of experienced R&D Tax Credit professionals, you will deliver market leading, bespoke services to our clients. Your duties and responsibilities will include the following: 

  • Working closely with clients to optimise the efficiency and robustness of their claim process;

  • Investigating projects undertaken by clients to assist in the identification of those that meet the definition of R&D activities for tax credit purposes;

  • Assisting with the preparation of an R&D Tax Credit Report, setting out the basis to the claim from a science perspective;

  • Supporting claims in the event of a Revenue audit/enquiry

    This is a client facing role so excellent communication skills are a must. You should be able to demonstrate a proven track record of working to tight deadlines, both as part of a team and using your own initiative.

This is a great opportunity to join a growing team and to establish yourself as an expert in the niche area of R&D Tax Credits. While prior experience of R&D Tax Credits would be an advantage, it is not compulsory as full, extensive training will be provided.

SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

  • Qualified scientist/engineer with a background in one or more of the following: Life Sciences, Biotech, Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, Food Science, Mechanical Engineering.

  • Passionate about science, technology and innovation;

  • Excellent communication, both spoken and written;

  • A team player with the ability to work on own initiative;

  • The ability to work to tight deadlines.

If interested in this role please send a copy of your CV to Eoin Brennan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Revenue Commissioners make further updates to R&D Tax Credit Guidelines

Following their major revision of the R&D Tax Credit Guidelines earlier this year, Revenue published an updated version of the guidelines yesterday, 24th March 2015. Changes have been made to a number of sections to provide further clarity on certain aspects of the new guidance issued in January. At SciMet R&D we welcome the prompt move by Revenue to provide additional clarification on these important points. The changes made are as follows:

Section 2.7 Time Limit on claims and timeframes for payable credits

The version of the guidelines that issued in January included the following statement in relation to payable tax credits:

“Claims for the three instalment payable credits can be paid not earlier than the 21st day of the 9th month following the end of the relevant period and 12 months and 24 months following the date the first instalment was paid” 

SciMet R&D raised concerns with Revenue that this wording could suggest that it is the date the first instalment is actually paid that serves as a reference for determining the 12 and 24 month anniversaries on which the second and third instalments respectively could be received. If this was the case, it could negatively impact the cash flow of companies where the payment of the first instalment is delayed e.g. as may occur where a Revenue audit into the claim is ongoing.

The section of the guidlines has been updated and now states the following:

“Claims for the three instalment payable credits can be paid not earlier than the 21st day of the 9th month following the end of the relevant period, and 12 months and 24 months respectively following that date.

As can be seen, the reference to the date the first instalment was paid has been removed. This section of the guidelines is now consistent with the relevant tax legislation in that it is the date that the first instalment is payable that is the reference for determining payment dates for the second and third instalments.

Section 4.2 Employee/Staff Costs

January’s guidelines included the following statement with regards to determining the qualifying R&D staff costs to be included in the tax credit:

“Emoluments also include holiday entitlement, public holidays etc., therefore for a full time employee, the total cost of the employment is spread over 52 weeks (pro-rata for a part-time employee).”

SciMet R&D highlighted to Revenue that this reference to spreading the total cost over 52 weeks (pro-rated for part-time employees) could be interpreted to mean that staff holidays etc. should always reduce the qualifying R&D staff costs included in the claim. This is because instead of using the proportion that the time an employee is engaged in qualifying R&D activities bears to total worked time when calculating qualifying R&D staff costs, the denominator in calculating the proportion would be the full 52 weeks (including holidays etc.).

In the latest version of the guidelines, the reference to spreading the total cost of employment over 52 weeks (and pro-rata for part time employees) has been removed.

Section 5 Buildings and Structures Used for Research and Development

A significant change has been made to section 5 of the guidelines, which now state that:

Qualifying expenditure on the construction or refurbishment of a qualifying building may be treated as having been incurred either:-

(i) on the date it was actually incurred, or

(ii) on the date the building was first brought into use for the purposes of a trade, or the refurbishment is completed as appropriate.”

This differs from January’s guidelines where it was stated that “the credit is available, commencing from the date on which the building is first brought into use for the purposes of a trade”. This clarification that qualifying expenditure can be treated as having been incurred on the date it is actually incurred is welcomed and may be of particular relevance to R&D companies involved in construction projects that span two or more periods.

 

 

SciMet R&D in the Sunday Business Post, 18th January 2015

SciMet R&D had an article in yesterday's Sunday Business Post to make readers aware that the new R&D Tax Credit guidelines were published last week. Given it is that time of year, we also took the opportunity to highlight a few "resolutions" to help keep R&D Tax Credits "healthy" in 2015.

There was one piece of "journalistic licence" applied to our article that we think is worth clarifying. In the Experimental Development paragraph, it is stated that experimental development can be difficult to identify due to its "similarity" to non-qualifying activities.  In our article we had highlighted that it is the "proximity" of experimental development to other activities, i.e. in the NPD cycle, that presented challenges. Experimental Development is of course not similar to  non-qualifying activities as evidenced by the large number of successful claims made for these type activities. Not too sure why they changed it prior to publishing but there you go!

Download the full Pdf version of the article here

 

 

New R&D Tax Credit Guidelines published by the Revenue Commissioners today, 14th January 2015

 

The updated Research and Development Tax Credit Guidelines were published by the Revenue Commissioners today, the 14th January. The updated guidelines can be accessed on the Revenue website at www.revenue.ie. They contain additional guidance on certain key areas and some useful worked examples. Below we highlight some of the main changes from previous versions of the guidelines.

Payable Credits (Section 2.4)

A number of worked examples are provided showing how the payable tax credits are computed and in particular, the restrictions to the amounts receivable as cash (see examples 7 and 8)

Order of Offsets (Section 2.8)

Previous versions of the guidelines did not deal with the order of offset where a company has a current year tax credit, a carry forward of payable tax credits from the post 2009 period and a carry forward of non-payable tax credits from pre-2009. Example 11 shows that after the current year tax credit has been used, the pre-2009 non-payable tax credit can then be used in priority to the payable tax credits carried forward.

Software (section 3.7)

Additional guidance is provided for R&D Tax Credit claims made in the software sector. This includes:

  • An emphasis on the importance being able to identify not only those developments that result from qualifying activity but also the software development life-cycle phases that qualify.
  • Recognition that agile development methodologies are systematic in nature (one of the requirements for activities to qualify for the tax credit).
  • Examples of technological uncertainties (another of the requirements for activities to qualify for the tax credit) that may arise during the development life-cycle.
  • Examples of features in the development life-cycle that in Revenue’s view do not constitute qualifying R&D activity.
  • The importance of distinguishing between qualifying and non-qualifying activities, that may be taking place simultaneously in agile development methodologies, is highlighted.

Employee Staff Costs (section 4.2)

Revenue provide guidance on the emoluments to be included when calculating the R&D staff costs. They state that “pension contributions, bonus payments, health insurance or other items included in the reward package paid to R&D employees” may be included. In Note 18 to the guidelines, Revenue advise that where payments made to proprietary directors (or other persons with control over their emoluments) are significantly out of step with normal emolument practice of the company, these payments will generally not be regarded as eligible expenditure.

Revenue state that it is their view that as emoluments also include holiday entitlement, public holidays etc. the cost of employment for a full time employee should be spread over 52 weeks (pro-rated for a part-time employee).

Revenue also state that it is their view that overhead costs associated with the employment of an individual, such as HR costs, payroll team costs, canteen costs are not considered eligible as they are incurred “in connection with” as opposed to “in the carrying on by it” of the activity”.

Agency Staff (section 4.3)

Revenue confirm that the use of agency staff is an outsourcing of R&D activities and therefore the related payments should be subject to the restrictions that apply to these payments (i.e. the greater of €100,000 or 15% of in-house R&D expenditure).

Individual Consultants (section 4.3.1)

The updated guidelines set out the conditions that must be met for costs relating to individual consultants hired on a part-time/short time basis to be treated as direct employee costs (no restriction) as opposed to outsourced costs (restricted).

Materials used in R&D Activities which may be subsequently sold (section 4.6)

In the guidelines Revenue recognise that materials used for R&D may have a commercial value after the R&D has concluded. They advise the expenditure to be included in the claim in relation to such material should be reduced by the lower of a) the cost of the materials or b) the net realisable value of any materials or other saleable product which remains after the R&D activity.

R&D carried on as part of an Existing Trade (section 4.7)

Revenue state that where R&D is being carried on as part of the trade activities of a company, the eligible expenditure is limited to the additional expenditure that is incurred wholly and exclusively in carrying on the R&D. They give an example of a situation where R&D is being undertaken on a live production line while saleable product continues to be produced. They advise that it is the increase in unsaleable product and additional time costs that can be shown to have been incurred in the carrying on of the qualifying R&D that may be eligible.

Buildings and Structures used for R&D (section 5.1)

Revenue confirm that where expenditure on the construction of a building is incurred over two or more accounting periods, the aggregate expenditure is treated as incurred from the date the building is brought into use. The 12 month time limit for making a claim under S766A applies by reference to the date that the expenditure is treated as incurred.

Plant and Machinery (section 5.3)

The updated guidelines confirm that expenditure on plant and machinery (“P&M”) may be treated as incurred either on a) the date the P&M is brought into use and b) the date the expenditure becomes payable. Option b) can only be used where the P&M is brought into use within two years. This option was originally provided in Tax Briefing No. 59 from 2005.

Changes to Group Structure (section 7.7)

As provided in last year’s e-brief, Revenue confirm that where a company is disposed of by one group and acquired by another, any base year R&D expenditure of the company remains with the old group and does not pass to the new group. They state that this is not the case where there is common control of the two groups.

The Science Test (section 8.1)

The updated guidelines confirm that the company’s supporting documentation should evidence that the scientific/technological advancements had not previously been achieved and that the scientific/technological uncertainties had not previously been resolved (or if resolved, that the resolution was not available to a competent professsional working in the field) prior to the company commencing its project. Evidence that a comprehensive literature review was conducted prior to commencing the project is given as an example of the type of records to be retained.

Budget 2015 – R&D Tax Credit and other innovation measures

 

 

Key “Innovation” Measures Announced

 

1: R&D Tax Credit Base Year Restriction to be removed from 1 January 2015

 

2. New R&D Tax Credit Guidelines to provide enhanced clarity

 

3. Knowledge Development Box to be introduced (in line with patent box in other countries)

 

4. Increase in capital allowances available for Specified Intangible Assets

 

 

Earlier today, Minister Noonan delivered his Budget 2015 speech in which he announced a range of measures to be introduced as part of the Government’s Road Map for Ireland’s Tax Competitiveness. Below we highlight a number of these measures that will be of interest to innovative Irish companies.

 

R&D Tax Credit Base Year Restriction to be removed from 1 January 2015

 

It was confirmed that the base year restriction will be fully removed from 2015 thereby completing the transformation of the tax credit from an incremental to a volume-based scheme.

 

This change is to be welcomed and not only because it increases the tax credit available to some companies. As we have moved further from the 2003 base year, the requirement to identify and support the level of R&D activities and related expenditure in 2003 has proven increasingly problematic for many companies. This move to a volume-based scheme should therefore reduce the administrative burden for companies going forward.

 

New R&D Tax Credit Guidelines to be published

 

It was also confirmed that the Revenue Commissioners plan to publish new guidelines that will “enhance clarity on the administration of the R&D Tax Credit”.

 

The urgent need for improved clarity, certainty and consistency in the administration of the tax credit featured prominently in the SciMet R&D pre-budget submission (see http://www.scimetrnd.com/latest-news-article) and therefore we welcome this announcement. However, we would question the delay in issuing these new guidelines. The deficiency in formal guidance is something SciMet R&D’s managing director, Eoin Brennan, has been highlighting for a long time. During the review of the R&D Tax Credit carried out by the Department of Finance last year this issue was consistently raised by stakeholders as requiring attention. It is unfortunate that no date was provided by Minister Noonan for the publication of the new guidelines. We would urge the Revenue Commissioners to issue them without further delay.

 

Knowledge Development Box to be introduced

 

Minister Noonan’s announcement that he is to launch a public consultation process with the view to introducing a “best in class” Knowledge Development Box is positive news for innovative Irish companies. While full details of the scheme are not yet known, Minister Noonan did confirm that it will operate along the lines of the patent and innovation box regimes in place in other jurisdictions and will deliver a “low, competitive and sustainable tax rate”.

 

Increase in Capital Allowances available for Specified Intangible Assets

 

S291A Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for capital allowances to be available to companies in respect of expenditure incurred on certain intangible assets including patents, trade-marks and secret processes/formulae among others. Currently, the maximum capital allowances available are restricted to 80% of the trading income from the relevant trade in which the intangible assets are used. Minister Noonan announced today that this 80% restriction is to be removed.

 

About Us

SciMet R&D is the leading, Irish owned, independent R&D Tax Credit consultancy. The company was founded on a simple principle – to consistently deliver exceptional service and value to R&D performing companies in claiming their full and proper R&D Tax Credit entitlement.

We achieve this by delivering the perfect blend of science, technology, tax and accounting expertise. The R&D Tax Credit is unique in that it combines a science test with an accounting test. SciMet R&D is unique in the Irish market in the value we bring to our clients in meeting both tests.

At SciMet R&D we are truly passionate about science and technology. It motivates us to be able to play a part in the exciting research and development being carried out by our clients.  Our tailor-made R&D Tax Credit services deliver efficiencies, robustness and cost effectiveness that facilitate our clients in doing what they do best – innovate.

Our Address: Unit 3, Cova, Trafalgar Road, Greystones, Co. Wicklow