By Daniel Hunter

Innovation will be key to the UK’s businesses in the New Year, says leading research and development tax specialists, Alma Consulting Group.

Next year will see the introduction of the Patent Box tax relief scheme and the ‘Above the Line’ R&D Credit, which will provide UK businesses with the opportunity to receive tax and cash benefits.

However, Martin Hook, Sales and Marketing Director for Alma Consulting Group, says businesses need to be innovative in order to size the benefits.

“We see 2013 as being the year of innovation for businesses. Innovation, in all of its forms, will play a key role as the UK continues to recover from the economic crisis," Hook said.

"Not only will it enable UK businesses to be competitive in the international market, it will also add value to products and services for consumers and businesses.

“The significance of innovation has thankfully been recognised by the coalition government as 2013 sees the introduction of both the Patent Box tax relief scheme and the ‘Above the Line’ R&D Credit. Together these schemes offer significant tax and cash benefits that can be seized by innovative businesses.

“However, alongside the benefits and opportunities that are now available, these schemes also introduce fresh challenges. Trail-blazing businesses will need to ensure they are maximising the value they are getting out of the new schemes and may need to find specialist support to do this. The Patent Box and the ‘Above the Line’ Credit are highly complex, and many businesses will struggle to claim them correctly whilst complying with the many varied terms of the legislation.”

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