As announced in the 2011 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor made a commitment to introduce an “Above the Line” (ATL) credit in 2013 to the R&D Tax Credit system This is designed to encourage more research and development (R&D) by larger companies – that is those companies which are not eligible for the SME R&D tax credit scheme. Views were sought from business about the details of the design of the ATL credit in a consultation that ended on 30 June 2012. A response to the consultation with accompanying legislation drafts will be published in the Autumn.

The key proposal is that the R&D tax credit will be shown as a reduction in the R&D spending of the company so relating it directly to the spend. Hence it will not just be reflected as a distant number in the tax line of the accounts. The intention is to increase the visibility and certainty of the R&D Tax Credit and it is hoped this will make it more attractive to multinational investors.

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