If I was being completely honest I am really not sure how I would react if a member of my team told me they were going to take a few weeks off from work so they could appear on a reality TV show. My immediate concern would be about how the actions of the person involved might affect the reputation of our business.
After all, the makers of these kinds of programmes do no invite contestants along in the hope that they will sit around talking about what they did at work last week. Shows such as Survival of the Fittest – this winter’s answer to Love Island – are all about the ratings and those talking about your day to day job is unlikely to draw the crowds!
It has emerged that Georgie Clarke, one of the contestants, works in R&D tax relief and anything that raises the profile of tax credits has to be welcomed. For many, hearing that there is even a job as an R&D consultant will be new and I’m hoping the inquisitive minds will delve a little deeper to find out what it’s all about. It couldn’t have come at a better time, in light of recent concerns about the lack of uptake of Research & Development tax relief, this level of TV promotion will hopefully get the interest levels to where they need to be.
We are moving in the right direction and there have been sharp increases in the number of companies claiming but there are still hundreds of thousands of firms which are missing out on what is a really important revenue stream. The latest available figures from the HMRC revealed that 21,865 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) had successful claims under the scheme and the average benefit of £61,514 per claim period . Despite criticisms from the IPPR think-tank that tax credits are a dead weight, the reality is that the vast majority of SMEs which are eligible are not claiming.
Georgie is representing the world of Research and Development tax credit relief on ITV2’s new show. She describes herself as a mixture of beauty and brains and the early signs are that interest levels in her are going to be sky high. The 25-year-old is a tax credit consultant and her job means she spends her days visiting companies and helps them to apply for extra revenue. She said: “I have a lot to offer in the sense of intellectual conversation and I know how to hold my own. I work in the hard-core tech industry so I am able to hold my own in environments where it’s me and ten men in the room and I have to keep their attention.”
Here at GovGrant, we work with businesses from all sectors and of all shapes and sizes. Our consultants need to have enquiring minds and be able to hold intelligent conversations with people who are specialists and experts in many different fields. The job means that our consultants have to have a mixture of skills which include being able to communicate, to deal with complex details and to support businesses through the claims process.
And if Georgie can in any small way help raise awareness of R&D tax credit relief over the coming weeks then that has to be a good thing.