- Strong sales uplift following significant increase in claims volumes
- Brexit having no impact on SME investment in innovation
- CEO calls for regulation to remove cowboy claims farmers from the sector
- Partnerships with accounting firms a key growth opportunity
GovGrant, the fast-growing innovation tax specialist, has announced a record quarterly trading performance with turnover increasing by over 30% on the same period in the last financial year (Oct-Dec 2017), and said the figures provided evidence that fears of Brexit were overdone and businesses are continuing to invest in innovation.
GovGrant helps businesses take advantage of government tax credits for innovation, R&D and intellectual property such as patents. The proceeds are then ploughed back into the businesses to generate more investment in innovation.
GovGrant CEO Luke Hamm said the record performance illustrated that awareness of the tax scheme had grown among SMEs generating a larger volume of claims, and he expected growth to continue, even after Brexit.
“UK businesses have not downed tools while Westminster counts down to Brexit in March. Our clients – both SMEs and larger businesses – are cracking on with their investment strategies and not waiting for the politicians. Our performance in the last quarter is a barometer for the amount of innovation going on in UK Plc, and I am confident it will continue up to and beyond 29 March.”
He warned, however, that the tax credit scheme is under threat from cowboy claims companies who offer poor advice and undermine the integrity of the system. “We believe there is a need for tighter regulation in our sector to protect companies from being ripped off and make sure cash goes to the businesses rather than ending up in the pockets of claims farmers.”
Turning back to GovGrant, Luke said that, looking ahead, he planned to drive more benefit from the Patent Box scheme, which rewards companies that develop, retain and exploit patents in the UK. It is administered by HMRC, and reduces the tax on profits from patented inventions to 10%.
“Presently, many businesses see winning patents as an academic exercise, or a medal to polish, but that must change. We need to commercialise our IP and make it much easier for SMEs in particular to win patents, and protect them from competitors stealing their ideas.”
He explained that GovGrant is adding to its expert team to improve the Patent Box advice it gives clients, as well as hiring new talent to grow the number of partnerships with accounting firms. “We want more accounting firms to use our expertise to enhance the services they provide their clients.”
“Partnership with us means high street firms can benefit by offering clients high quality advice on how to commercialise their innovation. I am on a mission to increase the size of the addressable market in the UK for commercialising innovation, and I’m very keen to persuade accounting firms that they can help, creating new sources of revenue for them, and benefiting their clients too.”