Global Birmingham Engineering Specialist wins £95K R&D Tax Reclaim

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A Wolverhampton tax claims company has helped a Birmingham based specialist engineering company claim back over £95,000 from HMRC for money spent on research and development.

R&D Tax Claims Ltd, based at Pendeford Business Park, worked with A&M EDM Ltd of Smethwick to claim back corporation tax on money spent on R and D (research and development). The company provide high specification precision-made parts and tooling to the aerospace and automotive sector using wire and spark erosion and CNC manufacturing processes.

A&M EDM Ltd was founded in 2002 by Mark Wingfield and Arthur Watts, both precision engineers, using a £17,000 loan from Mark’s brother-in-law. The pair took a small corner of the Smethwick premises of an existing company, Burcas, where they are still based, with two wire erosion machines and one EDM (electrical discharge machine). The company now occupies the whole 10,000 sq ft site and employs a team of 35 skilled engineers.

“I took over like a cuckoo”, says managing director Mark Wingfield. “We had no bank borrowing and leased the machines for first eighteen months, and Burcas took part of our profits to cover the rent. We had terrific support from everyone concerned, including clients and Stewart Ainsley from Finance for Industry. This enabled us to grow rapidly.

“Our main business is spark erosion, EDM and wire erosion”, continued Mark. “This has led us into precision engineering, pressed tool manufacture, mould tool making, extrusion tool making – we have the machinery to make anything, and our global clients include JLR, Goodrich Aerospace, Marstons Aerospace and Hadley Sections. We also help other companies across the UK who need our skills and precision machinery to overcome tricky problems. Our intellectual property lies in skills built up over decades.”

The team now includes three apprentices. “We do not use the Government scheme, we train our own to a very high degree of skill”, says Mark Wingfield. “Our machine tooling has to be accurate to microns, and it’s imperative that we continue to train the next generation to our exacting standards.

“We’ve built up a reputation based on quality, and a recent NADCAP audit inspector said he had never seen a company of our quality and diversity anywhere in the world, with the ability to turn a job around with such speed and accuracy.

“Pretty much all of our output is R and D led”, continues Mark. “Our accountants had said claiming for R and D could be difficult to prove, and we thought it would be time consuming and costly. But R&D Tax Claims contacted us and visited for a no obligation chat. They operate on a no win, no fee basis so we knew we had nothing to lose.”

Mark Evans, managing director of R&D Tax Claims says, “It was clear that A&M were eligible for a tax refund as their work is R and D driven. We met with Mark in early January, submitted to HMRC on 6 February, and got the reclaim within two months.”

“We were really surprised at the speed of the reclaim”, says Mark Wingfield. “We will reinvest it in the 1,000 sq ft two storey extension and inspection area we’re building, so that when our clients visit, they see our quality precision work showcased to perfection.”

“It’s a pleasure to help a company like A&M and we’ll be working with them again next year to process a further refund”, says Mark Evans. “It’s a considerable amount of money for a manufacturing company to reclaim, and A&M are committed to constant reinvestment in the business, creating new jobs and opportunities for the next generation of skilled engineers.

“Many companies don’t realise that they’re carrying out R and D and a refund like this encourages them to carry on doing it. We take the technical elements of what a company does, and present the evidence to HMRC in a clear manner. The clarity of the message is vital in proving the case beyond doubt.”

“The future looks great”, says Mark Wingfield. “The recession’s been good to us. In 2009, our turnover dropped by 17 per cent but we still took staff on and bought more machines. I see problems as opportunities; when a runaway milk delivery lorry demolished our offices we seized the opportunity to build better ones. Business is looking good and we have a large contract ready to sign. At the end of the day, it’s about giving people jobs, opportunities and a future.”