A small firm criticised in a High Court judgment for poor advice given on R
&D tax credits has received huge sums from the Treasury for consultancy
Following a Freedom of Information request, the Treasury revealed details of
the top eight management consultancy contracts by value over the last three
LF Consulting, which advised BE Studios in its R&D tax credit claims that
called into question the operation of the R&D system, is listed as sixth on
the list, having been paid £115,650 by the government for unspecified work.
The Treasury refused to reveal any more details of the contract, which will
prove extremely embarrassing in advance of the pre-Budget report, where Gordon
Brown is expected to trumpet his R&D tax credit system.
Although it was a flagship scheme, claims for the credits have been dogged by
administrative issues, with tax inspectors reportedly ill-qualified to assess
BE Studios had successfully made claims through LF Consulting for more than
£150,000 of the credits, which a High Court judge ruled had been given
LF Consulting director Alan Price had, the judge said, not possessed ‘the
technical background and knowledge’ to advise on the claims, nor had he
consulted relevant guidelines as ‘he should have done’.
The judges added: ‘He must have realised that the claims for R&D tax
relief he was submitting to HM Revenue & Customs were grossly exaggerated.’
LF Consulting had also made claims for the credits, Accountancy Age revealed
earlier this year. The west London-based firm is overdue on its filing of last
LF Consulting could not be reached for comment.
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