What do you do?
I lead our R&D offering within the Tech & High Growth team helping scaling, tech-rich, venture-backed businesses to improve their claims for R&D tax relief and/or Payable Tax Credits.
I can’t promise to increase the cash value of the claims, but our team invariably increases the robustness of claims in the face of challenges (whether by HMRC or by potential investors on Due Diligence) and/or significantly reduces the time needed by their technical teams to substantiate the claims by providing an experienced outsourced solution to help them articulate their claims.
Why do you do it?
Originally a physicist and spending time working as a scientist for the MoD, it’s fair to say R&D tax relief wasn’t my first calling but I’m delighted I’ve found my niche as I love doing what I do.
I’m coming up for 15 years’ experience in R&D and spend much of the 2010’s in the Big4 working on the biggest brands and largest claims in the country. However, I found being a tick on a Tax Director’s to-do list unmotivating. Combining this with hammering claims downwards on Due Diligences – undertaken for those large companies when acquiring tech start-ups – I felt the need to be on the other side of the table, helping the scaling tech world build better claims.
What kind of projects have you been involved in?
Anything ‘Tech’. Clients working in FinTech / MedTech / RegTech / EdTech / InsurTech / FoodTech / CleanTech all feature heavily in my portfolio, and I get involved in a number of different ways – either operating as a fully outsourced claim provider where we do all the legwork, through to reviewing claims pulled together in-house to provide a level of comfort that the claim is reasonable and not missing anything.
It’s a humbling position to be in, seeing some frighteningly-clever technology and talking with indescribably-clever individuals who are driving innovation in the UK to ever-increasing heights.
What’s on top of your bucket list?
I have a tendency to set myself fitness-based challenges – running 2,016km in 2016, or the 100-mile RideLondon cycle event (having never gone further than a few miles on a bike!) have been particular highlights – but am yet to run any marathon.
My aim is to run the London event, and then complete the ‘London Classics’ by doing the Swim Serpentine (just have to learn how to swim properly first) to get an impressive medal for the wall.
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