Whether growing plants or creating greener gardens - financial rewards are almost certainly available for research and development in horticulture and garden design.
Celebrating the show and the telling endeavours
The Festival Season is upon us, kicking off with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 23rd-26th May.
Growers, Designers and Nurseries taking part: many at the forefront of their industry, may well have been researching and investigating developments in the field of horticulture that could net their business a bloomin’ lovely financial reward via an R&D Tax Relief application
Strolling ground the floral displays in the Grand Pavilion at Chelsea or admiring the innovative composition that goes into the famous garden designs, it’s easy to miss the possibility that any number of exhibitors may quite purposefully have undertaken research to develop a new variety of a particular plant or to find a clever way, for example, of preserving and recycling water for multiple uses in the garden and beyond.
David Austen Roses is a regular attendee at Chelsea and have a highly successful and respected business growing and showing roses, which includes substantial investment in research and development projects to breed new varieties of rose. Reference to their Group Strategic Report for the year up to 31st July 2016* shows that total R&D expenditure in the period under review was no less than £743,000 and R&D Tax Relief derived from this investment approached £200,000.
Rewards & Discoveries that stem from research
You don’t have to be as big as David Austen to examine where opportunities may lie for an R&D application, but this example provides some useful context as, if you view the one figure as a percentage of the other, it’s quite a considerable reward for the work undertaken.
It’s true that the announcement of a new variety of rose, usually with a celebrity name attached to it, garners plenty of press, but with both this and other developments in the horticultural world, it’s possible that the research and development undertaken to arrive at the ultimate result will uncover processes and/or new knowledge that could be adapted in other industries and in particular: in ways that may be beneficial to the environment or, in stimulating growth and improving the longevity of a species of flora, perhaps reveal alternative uses for it in medicine or as a foodstuff.
Thus, both for the simple end game of developing a new subspecies of flower, but also in respect of the potentially wider applications of new science such efforts may precede, many horticulture businesses could reap significant rewards via an R&D Tax Credit application.
There’s plenty of opportunities to grow your own
As noted above, there are businesses exhibiting at our more famous annual festivals already engaged in pursuing R&D Tax Relief. However, although occasionally highlighted in press coverage of the horticulture industry, many others who could have a legitimate entitlement to tax relief are perhaps failing to reap the rewards they deserve
If you’re showing at RHS Chelsea or at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park in July, you’ll be only too familiar with the huge amount of time and effort that goes in to growing the finest plants or building a Gold Medal winning Garden. However, even if your aspirations aren’t quite that lofty the great joy of the R&D Tax Relief schemes is that they provide for applications from businesses large and small and you don’t have to be famous or publicly successful to take part. Neither, in some instances, (unlike at RHS festivals), does the effort you’ve put in have to have derived a particular end result: it’s more that you’ve costed a certain sum to dedicate to the undertaking and can demonstrate how that money was spent on Research & Development projects -and why.
So…It’s time to wake up and smell the roses, or lavender or foxgloves…and to think about whether research you have undertaken would merit an R&D Tax Relief application.
If you look at the makeup and life of a plant; its constituent parts and growth cycle, you start to realise that the beauty we all see on display at the shows is the result of the careful management of many different things.
Just as the finest horticulturalists will always look to maximise every opportunity to grow the most dazzling plants to impress the judges, so the aim at Cooden Tax Consulting is to be able to put money back into your business to help it grow and gain a winning advantage over others competing in your marketplace.
Spring is a time when the wonders of nature come to the fore, harnessed to perfection at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and other festivals all-around the country. It can also be the time when your business discovers fresh opportunities for growth, stimulated not by sun and rain, but by some extra cash in the seed tray!
At Cooden Tax Consulting, because we understand the various rules, regulations and processes involved in making an R&D application, we can help you achieve that aim, offering expert advice and putting cash back into your business so it can flourish.
Member since: 27th August 2015
Simon Bulteel is the owner and Managing Director of Cooden Tax Consulting, a division of Cooden Consulting Limited. A niche tax consultancy specialising in Research and Development Tax Relief, Patent Box...