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How will ForrestBrown work with my accountant to deliver R&D tax relief services?

Kelly Oakley associate director
Associate Director

R&D tax relief is intrinsically linked to your company tax return, so good working practices between your R&D tax adviser and accountant or corporation tax agent (if different) are essential.

ForrestBrown’s approach to working with your accountant is led by you. We prioritise collaboration and always focus on the value we can deliver to you, whether that is through taking on responsibility for filing your amended return or working in harmony with your accountant to ensure they have everything they need to do so.  

We’ve outlined some of the different ways we work with businesses and their accountants or tax advisers below:

Tailored consultancy

R&D tax relief is a complex and specialist area of tax, but our large, multi-disciplinary team have decades of relevant experience to support both companies and accountants. We often offer our expertise on specific projects, or in partnership with accountants. This includes carrying out independent R&D claim reviews, providing advice on group restructuring or due diligence mergers and acquisitions.

Most commonly, it is our deep technical knowledge of the specifics of your industry which adds value in partnership with your accountant. Our sector specialists have many years of experience working in a broad range of industries, including civil engineering, software development, manufacturing and automotive.  

We provide tailored consultancy and ad hoc partnership support for Top 40 accountant Old Mill. Old Mill has R&D tax expertise in-house, but partners with ForrestBrown on some projects to ensure that our mutual clients receive the best possible expertise and advice for their businesses.

This partnership allows Old Mill to enhance its expertise when needed. Ultimately, our aim is to ensure that our mutual clients receive access to the right industry and tax experts at the right time.


Some clients and accountants make the decision to outsource the entire end-to-end R&D claim preparation to ForrestBrown. With a focus on technical expertise, exceptional client service and efficiency, we gather the necessary information, prepare the claim documentation, file the return, computations and supporting information with HMRC (if required), and follow up to ensure that the claim is correctly processed.

Should HMRC ask any questions on the R&D claim, we fully manage the enquiry process through to resolution.

Our service is always tailored to our clients’ needs and priorities. Sometimes this means extra support in identifying projects, or training your team, or helping to design systems to capture relevant R&D costs.

Enquiry support service

HMRC has increased the size of its R&D team, so enquiries into R&D claims are becoming more common. Whether you want a second opinion on your R&D claim or need support on an ongoing HMRC enquiry, ForrestBrown’s expert team are ideally placed to resolve the enquiry and achieve the best possible result. Our team has supported many companies directly, where the claim under enquiry was either prepared in-house or by another adviser. We also support our accountant partners and have been brought into cases to add our substantial technical firepower to their teams. 

Resolving an HMRC enquiry into an R&D tax relief claim can be complex, and when you’re carrying out highly technical work your competent professionals may be looking for extra technical support to communicate your R&D to HMRC. Or if there have been adjustments to your claim during the enquiry process, you might need some support managing your relationship with HMRC and minimising exposure to penalties.

How ForrestBrown collaborate with your accountant

Every situation is different and that’s why we like to start with an open and honest conversation about how we can best work together with you and your accountant / tax adviser.

We’re also fully aware that situations arise, and circumstances change, so we will always adapt our service as you require. Our aim is to deliver value to you and ensure your team access the technical firepower within our team where and when it’s needed most. 

You may have considered that working with another supplier will add to demands on your time, but this should not be the case when you engage with professional firms. Most accountants and some R&D tax specialists will be members of a relevant tax or accountancy professional body. ForrestBrown is a firm of chartered tax advisers and member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. This means that when we work with regulated accountants, you can be assured that we operate to the same level of oversight and are subject to the same code of ethical conduct. 

Our focus is on building an effective and long-term professional relationship with both you and your accountant. We make sure that our work minimises your time requirements by working transparently with your other advisers, so you can focus on running your business.

If your accountant wants to find out more about working with us then we cover some points in What accountants can expect from working with R&D tax partners.