Software Company Celebrates R&D Tax Credit Success


Haverhill based software developers DataStation are still smiling following their successful claim for R & D Tax Credits

research and design tax credits

Case Study - Datastation

Information management company DataStation is constantly investing in developing the software behind their managed application. Standing still is not an option as their clients' needs are continuously evolving in a complex and changing business operating environment. Aware of the R & D Tax Credits scheme but lacking the knowledge and understanding of the finer details they were interested to work with Fiscale R & D Tax Credit Consultants to establish their eligibility and the scope of any claim. The outcome of the project is still bringing a smile to MD Chris Grover's face. More importantly it has resulted in plans being put into motion for a new developer to join the team.

The background

Established in 2000 DataStation specialises in providing clients across the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia with a managed internet based application to process large volumes of information. From remote data collection to information sharing, graphical analysis, asset management and the production of daily management reports the aim of the DataStation service is to save clients' time and money by making their processes seamless and more effective.

The company boasts an impressive client list including high profile household names such as Arcadia Group, Jaeger, Land Securities, Mothercare PLC and Sodexo. Operating in diverse industry sectors these clients share a common theme. They demand fast, secure, reliable and responsive systems that allow them to be in control of their information, regardless of whether accessed via a desktop or mobile platform.

The challenge

DataStation excel at responding to the changing demands of their clients' business and dealing with the impact of technological advances and the subsequent effect on data requirements. This capability has underpinned the company's success over the last 14 years.

Creating a skilled team of systems analysts, software developers and programmers comes at a price. Over the years thousands of man hours of development time have been committed to investigating how to enhance the application and make improvements. This resource has required major financial investment and it is not an expense that can be automatically reallocated to the client.

Maintaining a position and reputation as a market leader in information management requires ongoing investment - a critical success factor if DataStation is to grow and develop.

The solution

When contacted by Fiscale about the R&D Tax Credits scheme Chris Grover, MD of DataStation was intrigued to find out more. Although Tax Credits had crossed his radar he admits that whilst he was aware of the scheme he had not taken any steps to understand how it worked or if his business was eligible. It had all seemed "a bit complicated" and potentially time consuming to him.

The initial phone call from John Mayhew was all the encouragement Chris needed to put R&D Tax Credits on the agenda for DataStation. The fact that John had owned a business in the software industry for many years and had successfully claimed £300,000 of tax credits prompted Chris to agree to an initial meeting. He could sense there was an opportunity that was worth exploring. There was no risk to him apart from his time so it really was a "no brainer".

The first meeting with Stephen Bunting took around an hour and a half. It was a fact finding exercise about the company and to establish if the software development that DataStation was involved with qualified for R&D Tax Credits. Stephen recognised straight away that DataStation satisfied the eligibility criteria and that there was a potential claim.

A second meeting followed where Chris was asked to explain, in more detail, the type of software development undertaken by DataStation. By understanding exactly what the company does and how it works Stephen was able to identify the elements of software development that were eligible for R&D Tax Credits. This meeting can take anything from between one to four hours depending upon the complexity of the business, the number of projects they have worked on and their general understanding of R&D Tax Credits. The meeting with DataStation was relatively straight forward, taking around two hours, as there was just one "product" to investigate.

The next stage was an assessment of how the DataStation company accounts were set up and a discussion on the options available to take the credit - either as a tax relief or surrendered for cash. Stephen and Chris worked through a simple checklist at this third meeting to ensure that everything was covered off properly.

Armed with all the necessary information Stephen headed back to the office to write up the report for submission to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). After Chris had read through the 37 pages and agreed that it all made sense from his perspective, it was submitted to the R&D Tax Credits team in Cambridge.

The results

Within three hours the response came back from HMRC saying yes to the claim! Stephen called Chris to share the good news. Needless to say Chris was shocked and "overjoyed" with the outcome and, the size of the credit which was more than he expected. It had taken a mere six weeks from John's first phone call to DataStation to having the claim accepted by HMRC.



"I was impressed by Fiscale's professionalism and friendliness from the outset. The process was simple and hassle free. I was pleasantly surprised at how limited my involvement in the project needed to be. I just explained what we do and how we do it and Fiscale did the rest. It was far less onerous than I had expected.

I have no hesitation in recommending Fiscale to other businesses. This is one situation where the old adage 'if you think it's too good to be true it probably is', does not apply. For a few of hours of my time, under the expert guidance of Fiscale, I have secured a significant amount of money, from the R&D Tax Credits scheme, to reinvest in my business. I now have the ability and confidence to invest even more in the development and growth of the business and am looking to recruit a new software developer.

I am so glad that Fiscale choose to pick up the phone to me!"

Chris Grover, MD of DataStation


The conclusion

Fiscale will continue to work with DataStation to ensure that they have the systems and processes in place to maximise their entitlement to R & D Tax Credits in the future. DataStation have been given access to an injection of financial support into their business and are even more optimistic about the future than when they received their first phone call from Fiscale in February 2014. The savings achieved will have a significant and serious impact on the business – in a very positive way and all it cost DataStation was around six or seven hours of their time. Not a bad return for less than a day's work!


<< Back to Case Studies