North-east firms could be left feeling foolish if they don’t take heed of changes to R&D tax credits which come into force from April 1.

New government legislation could penalise companies of all sizes that claim tax relief for research and development (R&D) activity. From this date, claims made to HMRC will be subject to higher levels of scrutiny, require added layers of information, and need to be submitted digitally.

Stephen McCallion, Founder and CEO of ZLX Business Solutions, has warned against non-compliance with an estimated five-fold increase in the number of specialist inspections carried out by HMRC, while fines for companies that make inaccurate or misleading claims can reach up to 100% of the initial tax relief granted.

ZLX, which recently moved into office premises at neospace on Riverside Drive in the heart of the Granite City, is led by an experienced management team, including experts in legal, accountancy and technical disciplines. They help identify projects eligible for tax relief and navigate clients through the claims process.

Commenting ahead of the April 1st deadline, Stephen said: “With the tightening of regulations surrounding R&D tax credits, these reforms carry the potential to penalise businesses that are either not aware of the new requirements or that have made errors in good faith as part of their claim for tax relief.

“For companies that are active in R&D, it’s imperative they seek the right professional advice at the earliest opportunity to not only deliver maximum ROI but prevent them from falling foul of these impending legislative changes.

“Over recent years, we have built a reputation as a robust defender of our clients against HMRC compliance reviews – in no small part thanks to the investment we’ve made in recruiting our own, in-house specialist legal department, which continues to prove an important differentiator in the market.

“As the go-to experts for tax compliance, our team at ZLX Business Solutions has broad expertise across the full spectrum of legal, financial and technical requirements, meaning we are ideally placed to protect clients’ interests and add value to their bottom line.”

R&D tax credits are an HMRC scheme designed to incentivise UK businesses, across all industry sectors, to invest in innovative projects through research and development.

The average pay-out from HMRC for an SME claiming R&D tax credits is around £55,000 per annum, and more than 10 times higher for large corporates. With ZLX’s assistance, customers have reclaimed funds from £10,000 to £1.5million through their innovation investments.

ZLX Business Solutions provides trusted counsel to company founders and directors around complex issues such as tax compliance, land remediation tax relief, raising finance, restructuring, and market repositioning. For further information, please contact 01224 013374 or email

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