Enquiry support service for HMRC R&D tax relief enquiries

Our expert team will resolve your HMRC R&D enquiry, protecting your business and securing the best outcome for you.

Whatever stage of the enquiry process you are at, we offer:

  • Outcome-focused enquiry support for SMEs and large companies tailored to your needs.
  • Unrivalled specialist technical expertise from a multidisciplinary team that includes former HMRC inspectors, lawyers & industry experienced technical specialists.
  • Actionable insights into evolving HMRC requirements and policy changes.
  • Full pre-emptive claim reviews on a consultancy basis for complete peace of mind.

Do you need help with an HMRC enquiry into your R&D tax credit claim?

Without specialist support, R&D tax credit enquiries can be time-consuming and complex. Working with our expert team will ensure they don’t get in the way of you running your business.


ForrestBrown’s enquiry support service

ForrestBrown’s enquiry support service can cover everything from a thorough claim review, making sure your R&D claim can withstand HMRC scrutiny, to managing every aspect of an enquiry on your behalf.

Want to know more about enquiries and why they’re raised? Find out all you need to know about R&D tax relief enquiries.

If you are facing an R&D tax credit enquiry relating to a claim you’ve prepared yourself or with another adviser or partner, then let our team of experts take complete control. Whether you need a sense check, have just received a compliance letter or need us to step into a long-running enquiry, we will help you to get the resolution you need.

Our service includes:

  • A full and thorough review of all claim documentation and HMRC correspondence to date.
  • Handling all aspects of your enquiry, managing timelines and liaising with HMRC on your behalf.
  • Developing and delivering a strategy that meets your business priorities, balancing protecting the value of your claim with achieving a resolution as quickly as possible.

Our enquiry support process

At ForrestBrown, we can take full and immediate control of your enquiry. We drive the enquiry process forward with a proactive approach, controlling the agenda and working towards a favourable resolution.

We tailor our process to your business and priorities – this is often a combination of preserving claim value and reaching a quick resolution. Although bespoke, you can expect our enquiry support service to include the following steps:

The experts you need to navigate your R&D tax enquiry

When you’re facing an enquiry, you want the best possible team on your side to protect your reputation as well as the value in your R&D claim.

Once we’ve understood your business, we assemble a senior team of experts matched to your exact needs. They will then work tirelessly to protect your business and secure the best outcome for you. Our enquiry support team brings together:

  • former HMRC R&D unit inspectors
  • qualified chartered tax advisers and chartered accountants
  • sector specialists with relevant industry experience
  • tax lawyers experienced in dispute resolution

Read more about

Jenny Tragner CA ATT (Fellow)

Director & Head of Policy

James Dudbridge

Read more about

James Dudbridge LLB


Jayne Stokes

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Jayne Stokes ACA

Associate Director

Phil Smith CTA

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Phil Smith CTA

Technical Lead

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Mark Andrew

Senior Tax Specialist and ex-HMRC Inspector

Tom Heslin technical specialist

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Tom Heslin MSc

Associate Director

Peter Beavis Sector Specialist

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Peter Beavis PhD MSci CSci CChem MRSC MIMMM

Senior Sector Specialist

Our experience with HMRC

ForrestBrown’s team has many years of experience of working closely with HMRC, including helping to draft best practice guidance, dealing with them on day to day matters involving R&D claims, and working with their compliance team to resolve enquiries. We have a good working relationship and understanding of the information they need to accept an R&D tax relief claim, which allows us to have meaningful discussions to inform our approach to successfully resolving your enquiry.

Our director Jenny Tragner has been actively involved in shaping R&D tax policy for a number of years and brings the latest insights into HMRC’s approach and focus areas. Our former HMRC inspectors know what it’s like to be on the other side of the desk, helping to inform our strategy and the way we communicate with the HMRC compliance team. Our experts have a track record of defending enquiries, establishing quick and quality dialogue with inspectors.

Jayne Stokes

We help you navigate an HMRC compliance check, developing a strategy to manage the enquiry and exploring procedural options available to achieve the resolution you need.

Jayne Stokes ACA Associate Director
James Dudbridge full-length

Our ultimate goal is to protect your business and manage every aspect of the enquiry on your behalf so that you can focus your time on running your business.

James Dudbridge LLB Director

Everything you need to know about HMRC R&D tax enquiries

Regardless of where you are in the enquiry process, you want information you can trust. Our experts have helped compile in-depth guidance to take you through the process. Follow the relevant links below to read more:

What next?

Once an outcome has been reached with your enquiry, it’s important to look to the future. The first R&D tax credit claim you submit after an enquiry is critical. HMRC will expect that any feedback they provided during the enquiry will be reflected in your next R&D tax relief claim. They do check and will open another enquiry if they believe that similar risks are present, or that feedback has been ignored. For example, if you agree with HMRC to reduce a particular cost, or exclude a particular type of project from your claim during an enquiry, they will check to see if you have carried that treatment forward into the next period. If not, expect further challenge and they may well be less sympathetic next time round.

At ForrestBrown, we can help you strengthen your future claims, including everything from record-keeping measures to methodology. This is particularly important if you have had a claim adjustment or suspended penalty. We also work hard to ensure you’re in the best position to utilise R&D tax relief within your business going forward.

James Dudbridge - ForrestBrown

Do you need specialist advice to resolve an R&D tax credit claim enquiry?

Get in touch with ForrestBrown director, James Dudbridge LLB, and his team to discuss how we can help you protect your business by resolving your enquiry.


Is your client facing an HMRC enquiry? ForrestBrown can provide advice and support, or actively manage the enquiry for you. Enhance your relationship with your client by partnering with the right specialist at the right time.

Often, a successful resolution to an HMRC enquiry on R&D tax relief involves a detailed technical understanding of the client’s R&D, as well as experience of dealing with the specialist HMRC caseworkers. Our specialist technical firepower covers both areas for complete peace of mind.

R&D tax enquiries almost always involve a detailed discussion of the R&D projects identified. They will cover whether those projects should attract relief, and if so, where the boundaries of the R&D work should be drawn in calculating the value of the claim.

Companies with genuine R&D can find themselves struggling to explain why their project qualifies. Our team of technical specialists can gather further information and draft written reports for HMRC in the format requested, or sit alongside your client’s competent professional on a call with HMRC. This support can be instrumental in resolving this fundamental part of the enquiry.

Strategy is another key area. Our team understand current HMRC practice, including which areas of potential risk are a current focus. If adjustments to an R&D claim are necessary to reach a resolution, how these are handled can have a material impact on whether HMRC seek penalties or look to discovery assessments into previous claims.