Aspen Waite: Being a partner and how to get R&D tax credits
Innovation, research and development are things that should be applauded and rewarded in business – especially if that R&D leads to a better future for all. This month, our Partnership Development Manager, Carl, sat down with Alex from Aspen Waite, to find out more about R&D tax credits and how they could help you.
This is a blog of two parts, as Carl and Alex also discussed the Footprint Digital Partnership Network and how it is something that can be beneficial to all. Read on to find out more about this towards the end of the blog.
Carl: We are here today with our wonderful partner, Alex, from Aspen Waite. We’ve been partners for a couple of years, and have done lots of different work together so we wanted to sit down and have a chat that will hopefully help some of our clients and other people out there understand R&D tax credits a bit more. Could you start off by telling us a bit about what you do?
Alex: So, Aspen Waite London started about 5 years ago. We originally focused solely on R&D tax consultancy – which is a specialist part of accountancy. We specifically look at clients who innovate – helping them to get rewarded for that innovation and then reinvesting that money into businesses.
Carl: I think R&D is certainly an area that many businesses, including lots that we work with, are interested in. Could you give us a little more detail around this area?
Alex: Yes sure. In a nutshell, there is a government-backed scheme that recognises and rewards companies that are innovative. HMRC’s definition of businesses that would qualify is those who are “Overcoming Scientific & Technological Uncertainties”. Essentially meaning companies who have started a project, hit a roadblock, and there is nothing on the market that can solve that problem so they go ahead and do it themselves. They innovate.
Carl: Can you give us some examples of ways a company might have to innovate?
Alex: There are lots of different innovations that we’ve seen, in a multitude of areas. Whether it’s something software led or manufacturing or anything else really, our clients come across these roadblocks to development, and then we work with them to write a report for HMRC, which will then get them a discount or a payback on their Corporation tax.
Carl: Have you noticed any changes over the years – particularly during covid-19?
Alex: Yes, absolutely. I’d say that during the pandemic, we have noticed a change in the market, which has led us to grow more into the business advisory space and offering a more heuristic approach to our clients.
Carl: Recently we talked about the value that we add to each other in the Partnership Network, and we provided you with a Digital Marketing Audit, and I think that’s really going to help you guys, right?
Alex: Definitely. We don’t like to refer partners to our clients that we don’t experience or use ourselves. The DMA is the prime example of how we are going to sort of reinforce that kind of thing. It’s going to give us confidence and likewise when we are referring Footprint to our clients we can say this is what we have done and we know the process so it’s coming from a trustworthy source. And likewise, for you guys for R&D.
Carl: We do see each other as an extension of our own businesses and extension of our own team because we’re not experts in your area and vice versa. We like to share expertise and strengthen each other in this way through the network. We talk about a lot, but that is really where we add value to our clients and to our partners.