Small businesses fail to take advantage of Patent Box relief

Only 700 claims equating to 4.6% of available relief were claimed between 2013 and 2014 – the first year of statistics available

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  • Henry Williams

Only 4.6% of available relief was claimed by small and medium-sized businesses on the Patent Box, according to HMRC’s most recent statistics.

Patent Box expert Kari Campbell has revealed that only 700 claims made between 2013 and 2014 – the first year of available statistics – compared to over 10,000 claims made for research and development tax relief over the same period.

Surprisingly, firms from many sectors usually characterised as innovative such as the information & communication, financial & insurance and real estate (25) and the professional, scientific & technical (65) made only a small number of claims.

Despite this, both sectors have high amounts of relief per claim at an average of £2.34m and £332,000 respectively.

Introduced to increase the development and level of patenting of intellectual property in the UK, businesses can pay a rate of corporation tax on any patent box profits earned after 1 April 2013 lower than the current 20% main rate.

Campbell commented: “Smaller businesses are often put off claiming tax relief available to them, particularly the Patent Box, due to the complexities of making the first claim and fears of getting it wrong.

“However, it should be emphasised that, despite recent negative press, the Patent Box is a government backed scheme designed to benefit those businesses within Britain who are making the effort to innovate products within the UK.”

Henry Williams

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