Company aims to unlock millions in unclaimed R&D tax relief for small businesses

From left, Suz Harkness, Upul Dissanayaka, Rick Henry, Mike Dean, Jen Badg and Gillian Car-michael

WHISPERClaims, an award-winning Scotland-based fintech company, has officially launched in response to demand from the accountancy sector for a software solution that simplifies the process of claiming Research & Development (R&D) tax relief.

The fully automated, scalable and white-labelled software is capable of producing all the documentation needed to support an R&D claim within an hour, revolutionising the current lengthy process employed by companies in the sector. It is designed for business advisors of all kinds, including accountants and R&D tax consultants. 

Utilising the new platform, firms are able to process more claims in significantly less time and improve the quality of claims made on behalf of clients. This enables accountants nationwide to service more clients or enter the R&D market for the first time, generating increased revenue and scaling up operations without recruiting more staff. 

The WhisperClaims platform is part of a growing movement towards the use of digital tools in the accountancy sector and makes R&D tax relief accessible to companies of all sizes – including eligible smaller businesses. Early adopters of its technology include ShareIn, Dialexy, and Machines With Vision.

Mike Dean, Director of WhisperClaims, explained: “Smaller organisations are missing out on a lucrative R&D tax relief payout with millions of pounds estimated to be unclaimed each year. Our vision is to help accountants and their clients to access the R&D tax relief scheme, without cumbersome and traditionally resource-heavy claims processes. 

Mike Dean, director of WhisperClaims

“We want to make claiming R&D tax relief an easy experience for companies of all sizes and to reduce the high number of claimants that are being turned away because their claims are too small to be economically processed by consultants. Ultimately, our technology will enable firms to take action, expand their offering and become champions of change with claims delivered in around an hour compared to traditional processes that can take weeks to complete.

“Claims can be made regardless of whether a company is in profit or loss and for up to two years retrospectively. Our aim is to empower accountants nationwide to support their smaller clients to recoup tax benefits that could prove lucrative to many SMEs.”

To prepare a claim, users of WhisperClaims technology are led through an easy to understand, responsive question set, probing all of the key areas of a claim to ensure that the end result is robust and defensible. Users can also invite their clients to sign-in and answer questions.

Once all of the required questions have been answered, the report is instantly available, avoiding any delays for manual preparation or checking. The report is compliant and detailed, containing all of the information needed to justify a claim. A monthly subscription is charged for access to the system, alongside a low capped fee for each report. 

Chris Swallow, Finance Director of ASM Technologies Ltd and customer of WhisperClaims said: “This type of solution can be a game changer for a SME. We used the platform to create a full claim in under an hour, which our accountant submitted along with our Corporation Tax return.”

WhisperClaims employs seven staff at its Edinburgh HQ and has plans to recruit two more members of staff over the next twelve months. The company plans to grow its UK customer base and to create new features and services to meet demand.

According to HMRC’s statistics, UK companies spent £31.3bn on R&D during the 2017/18 financial year. This resulted in support from the Treasury of £4.3bn, creating an estimated £1bn in fees for accountants and specialist R&D tax relief consultants. 

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