Utilising cash from unexpected sources

Sancus welcomes a blog post from Julie Barry at RIFT, discussing R&D tax credits and how they could benefit your business.

It’s no secret that we’re heading into a critical time for the whole UK construction industry. It’s going to take an estimated 158,000 new jobs to hit the targets for infrastructure and housing needs alone. With productivity lagging and razor-thin profit margins all through the sector, meeting those demands could be a tall order. The pressure’s on to make the building trade more efficient, more agile and more sustainable. With too few boots on the ground – and at every other level – it’s going to take fast-forward thinking to pull it off.

That means seizing opportunities wherever they arise and making the most of unexpected resources.

Profit margins and productivity are being squeezed hard in construction. The one-two punch of the skills shortage, and the potential choking off of overseas labour by a looming Brexit, are ramping up the pressure on an ageing workforce. As projects become more complex, they throw up increasingly difficult challenges, and unexpected setbacks can prove to be a real hazard for building firms already stretched too thin.

Despite all this, construction is an industry that’s both founded on and driven by innovation. Developing new materials, processes and approaches has become so much a part of day-to-day business that it’s becoming invisible. It’s so crucial to realise that, while innovation can be its own reward, it’s not its only reward. While you’re out there working on solutions to your own immediate problems, you’re potentially pushing back boundaries for the entire industry – and even beyond. That’s the kind of innovation that the UK’s R&D Tax Credits system is trying to encourage and reward. Even if your research doesn’t ultimately pay off in itself, it can still form the basis of an R&D Tax Credits Claim. We’re talking about the single largest incentive scheme of its kind in the UK. However, far too few companies understand what they qualify for – or even realise that they’re missing out, in the first place.

For every challenge mounting up in UK construction, there comes a real opportunity. Bringing your best ideas to life carries risk, and it’s understandable that some firms shy away. At RIFT, we’ve set ourselves the mission of bringing the full benefits of R&D Tax Credits to UK construction. Innovation is critical to the industry’s future, so we’re ensuring that it always brings rewards.

Julie Barry, RIFT R&D Tax Credits Team