On 30 November 2015, following a consultation, HMRC launched a voluntary, non-statutory advance assurance service available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

To take advantage of the new service, an SME must:

  • be claiming R&D tax relief for the first time
  • have an annual turnover not exceeding £2m
  • have fewer than 50 employees.

If a claim for advance assurance is successful, the SME will be entitled to R&D relief for the first three accounting periods, without further enquiry.

See here for further details.