Multinationals ‘exaggerated’ research activity to lower tax bills

Departmental review indicates contentious tax credit plays vital role in supporting jobs

Companies were forced to repay the exchequer a record €21 million in back-tax following more than 200 audits in 2013. Photograph: Getty Images

Companies were forced to repay the exchequer a record €21 million in back-tax following more than 200 audits in 2013. Photograph: Getty Images

Several multinational firms have been found to be aggressively and improperly claiming tax credits for research and development to lower their corporation tax bills.

A Government scheme gives firms up to 25 per cent of their expenditure on R&D in the form of cash or a credit against their corporation tax.

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