KPMG launches app for R&D tax credit eligibility for SMEs

7 Apr 2011

Accounting firm KPMG has launched a free app, the R&D Tax Credit Assessor, to help Ireland’s small and medium-sized businesses assess their eligibility for support from Ireland’s R&D tax credit regime.

The launch of the new online tool arrives at the same time as comments by the Minister of Enterprise Richard Bruton, TD, yesterday, announcing his plans to revise the R&D credit system to make it easier for small companies to avail of the system.

KPMG said it decided to develop the app for SMEs following research it commissioned, which showed a large number of Irish businesses were unaware they are actually carrying out potentially qualifying R&D activity. In certain cases, some companies are completely unaware that such credits even exist.

The research also revealed that 34pc of smaller companies surveyed would increase employment if the credit was increased.

Ken Hardy, partner with KPMG’s R&D team, said the company believes an SME-specific R&D credit regime, like those in many Scandinavian countries, would be highly beneficial to Irish businesses.  

“At the moment, many Irish businesses assume that R&D is confined to multinationals or very large companies. However, in our experience, a wide range of SMEs in sectors such as food, drink, engineering , software, manufacturing and agriculture are participating in qualifying activity without realising it.

“There is a misconception that you need a lab full of people in white coats or to be headquartered in Silicon Valley to be carrying out R&D. Innovation and new process or product development is key to the future success of Ireland’s SMEs. There is significant, but often unrecognised, R&D activity taking place here, resulting in valuable R&D tax credits (which can often be converted into cash) not being claimed.”

This is why the company decided to create the online assessor, enabling SME owners to check their eligibility for credits in less than a few minutes. 

The R&D Tax Credit Assessor is a questionnaire available on the homepage of KPMG’s website, allowing SMEs to determine if their business activities fit within the criteria for potential tax credit business support.