Smith & Williamson’s tax team scoops universities award

The Birmingham office of accountancy, investment management and tax group Smith & Williamson has received an award for its ‘special contribution to university tax’.

The firm was awarded the British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG)’s Nigel Clothier Award for the pioneering work undertaken by partner Robert King and his team who are based at Smith & Williamson’s Birmingham office. They successfully identified the considerable claims universities could make through the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) scheme.

The award was presented to Mr King’s colleague, Tony Jackson, also a partner in Smith & Williamson’s Birmingham office, at the BUFDG’s annual tax conference where he was giving a presentation on VAT.

Commenting on the award, Mr King said: “This award was completely unexpected which makes it all the more exciting to receive it. We are delighted to be recognised for our tax work in relation to the education sector’s R&D expenditure over the last couple of years which has provided many universities with a much needed source of additional funding. This is a real testament to the hard work and expertise of our team, who are fortunate to count many of the UK’s leading universities among their clients.”

Amanda Darley, tax specialist at British Universities Finance Directors Group, said: “Our annual tax conference was attended by 140 university delegates and 60 speakers from professional firms, HMRC, universities and charities, and we were delighted to present one of the inaugural BUFDG tax awards to Smith & Williamson, for bringing the RDEC (R&D expenditure credit) opportunity to the attention of the higher education sector. The awards were all nominated by BUFDG members, predominantly tax and payroll managers within universities, so really reflect what those in the sector value.”

RDEC is a key part of the government’s strategy to promote innovation and sustainable economic growth in the UK. Any organisation which invests in R&D may be entitled to claim a cash repayment, providing a welcome boost to cash flow and a means of securing funds for further investment.

Mr King continued: “For those businesses with a financial year end date of 31st December, it is important to act now to claim your tax credits for 2014. Completing a claim is simple and the government is actively encouraging innovative firms to take advantage of the scheme. We have completed hundreds of claims for businesses of all sizes and sectors, from sole traders to large universities. We have a tried and tested approach which is highly efficient and minimises any impact on your resources.”

Smith & Williamson’s R&D tax calculator is available online to help businesses calculate how much they might be able to claim:

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