Companies seeking R&D tax breaks should beware of an increase in fraud warnings with false claims and potentially “harmful” advice, warns ForrestBrown, a specialist R&D tax break consultant.
It warned that a number of companies have received these letters in an attempt to “undermine the recipient’s relationship with their existing R&D tax advisor”.
With this in mind, the firm would now like to enlighten those who are not sure which allegations are made in these letters about the threats they pose.
One of the most important things to look out for when receiving letters about R&D tax breaks is that the sender uses poor grammar, overly emotional language, or that the letter is marked as “urgent” or “important”.
ForrestBrown also said businesses need to be careful to include a personal cell phone number as the best contact number, rather than an office or landline number, or when the recipient is asked to book a call or meeting “confidential” or without anyone else knowing .
In addition, it warns companies to be wary of disclosing from the sender that they are working or acting “on behalf” of the industry without providing specific details and not mentioning regulators.
James Dudbridge, Director and Head of Advisory Practice at ForrestBrown, said, “Over the years we’ve seen a variety of approaches praying on business concerns and taking advantage of the generosity of R&D tax incentives, but this is the most recent time letter combinations are not just grossly misleading – they all have the hallmarks of fraud.
“While the aggressive approach and attempt to appear well-informed and knowledgeable in this letter is certainly a new tactic, there are a number of mistakes that serve as red flags to reputable consultants in the industry.”
He added: “It is important for us to alert companies to these tell-tale signs so we can prevent them from falling victim to spurious advisors and their bad advice.
“The consequences of following such advice can be costly in the long run, so I invite anyone who thinks they have received one of these letters to speak to their R&D accountant or one of the team members at. to contact ForrestBrown, who will be happy to help you with any questions or concerns. “