Fiscale prove it's not always "too good to be true" with successful R&D Tax Credit claim for specialist engineering company.


When Fiscale contacted BA Caulkett Ltd, a leading supplier of bespoke loading equipment, neither company had any idea of the impact the call would have on BA Caulkett's future.

research and design tax credits

Case Study - BA Caulkett Ltd

The introductory phone call from Fiscale explaining the R & D Tax Credit scheme was met with some scepticism by Managing Director Barry Caulkett. Barry, like many before him, thought it was just "too good to be true" but eventually agreed to meet with Fiscale.

Established in 1981 BA Caulkett has built a strong reputation for quality, service and innovative engineering solutions predominately within the construction, industrial and agricultural equipment sectors. They are proud of their team of highly skilled engineers, all coded to BS4872 standard, and their ongoing investment in the latest CAD software and C.N.C machinery. Using the right people, equipment and technology enables BA Caulkett to provide their diverse customer base with the premium quality technical solutions they demand.

The background

BA Caulkett design and manufacture bespoke loading shovel attachments which are used for handling numerous materials including construction products, sand, waste, sludge, silage, sugar beet, hay, grain, fertiliser, coal, biomass and logs. They also sell a range of second hand attachments and spares and offer full refurbishment and mobile maintenance services.

The portfolio of clients in this very specialised trade is diverse and contains household names as well as small businesses and individual farmers.

A second generation family owned and operated business, the values remain the same as they were when Barry Caulkett started out as a sole trader nearly 35 years ago. The aim then was to produce well-designed components using premium materials and to support those products with the highest level of aftercare and backup.

The selection of shovel attachments on offer has grown in line with customer demand. Each product has been created as a direct response to satisfying a specific customer requirement for a particular application.

Ongoing investment in skilled engineers, plant, machinery and processes has enabled the company to stay at the forefront of their industry.

The challenge

BA Caulkett work with engineers and product developers in the construction, civil engineering, utilities, mining, environmental services and agriculture sectors. Whether on a construction site, a farm or a port, their customers are seeking a solution that can improve productivity - safely and cost effectively. In the majority of cases they have a problem but have no idea of what the solution could be.

The team at BA Caulkett listen closely to their customer to develop a handling attachment that will meet their exact needs for a given application. Many factors are taken into consideration - the type of machinery to which the shovel or bucket will be attached; the environment where it will be used; the density of the materials to be handled; the payload required and the capacity of the attachment.

Using their extensive experience the engineers at BA Caulkett will research and develop a handling attachment capable of meeting the specified criteria. Each unit is designed, fabricated and manufactured in house by an individual engineer. The engineer will test the attachment to ensure safety, durability, reliability and performance.

The majority of the projects that the company work on involve a high degree of technological uncertainty and a significant amount of time is invested in research and development.

The learning acquired from the resolution of the technological uncertainties can lead to the engineer devising a new process or method that can then be replicated in other projects. BA Caulkett are continually improving their knowledge base through their research and development efforts.

By constantly innovating how they design and manufacture the company is able to retain its position as a specialist in the production of loading shovel attachments.

The solution

Fiscale were familiar with BA Caulkett, as a fellow Haverhill based business, and were aware that they were a likely candidate for R&D Tax Credit relief. An introductory call took place to establish eligibility. Managing Director Barry Caulkett was unaware of the R&D Tax Credit scheme and was naturally sceptical that what is effectively "free money" could be available from the Government without a catch.

A 'basis for claim' meeting was arranged and, although still unconvinced, Barry agreed to go ahead with the claim. Two further meetings took place where Fiscale's Technical Director, Stephen Bunting, worked with the team at BA Caulkett to help them pinpoint the eligible research and development elements of the different projects that had been completed over the last two financial years.

It soon became apparent that there was a high level of research and development taking place within the company. However the team had not realised the process they followed when designing a new product or substantially improving a new one was actually research and development - they were just doing what they do!

Gathering the information for Fiscale was a team effort and took around an hour a week over the course of two months.

A draft report was compiled and sent over to BA Caulkett for approval before being submitted to the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) R & D Tax Credit team in Leicester by Stephen.

The results

When the HMRC payment arrived Barry was elated and very happy that he had put his trust in Fiscale.

"It is hard not to be sceptical when you get a call basically telling you that you could be eligible for tax relief under a scheme you have never heard of! You can't help but think it's some sort of scam.

Now I am so glad that I gave Fiscale the time of day, they are an excellent company. They were easy to work with and very helpful. They offered plenty of guidance on what they required. Of course we are absolutely delighted with the cheque we have received but our work with Fiscale has uncovered something of far more value long term.

Thanks to Fiscale we now understand and appreciate that we are innovators; that we are carrying out R &D on a daily basis - it's what we do. With this realisation has come a new confidence and we have gone out to our market with a different message. It has already brought us a prestigious project with a high profile company in the construction sector. This fresh approach gives us a real competitive advantage over the other manufacturers in our industry. It is an invaluable benefit that has arisen as a direct result of our association with Fiscale.

Just now and then when something sounds too good to be true - it isn't! I am so glad that I put my trust in Fiscale and am looking forward to working with them for many years to come. If you get a call from Fiscale my advice is listen to what they have to say!"

Barry Caulkett, MD of BA Caulkett


The conclusion

The relationship between the two companies is ongoing. Fiscale has helped BA Caulkett to review their record keeping to make the data capture is a much more streamlined process. This will ensure that the next claim is maximised and will reduce the time required to gather the information.

The R & D Tax Credit relief already received has been used to invest in a new unit adjoining the existing premises and new equipment. The sole purpose of the additional space is to focus on Research and Development. BA Caulkett will be capitalising on their expertise as innovators and creating a new market based on their forte - a market, which as they have already discovered, is full of opportunity.


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