Hundreds of businesses in Cumbria may be due an unexpected tax relief boost, a top accountant has advised.

Paul Hornby, the managing director of JF Hornby and Co, says Research and Development Tax Credits are there to be used for firms – and many may be missing the opportunity.

Mr Hornby said: “In the last 12 months we have claimed more than £1m in additional tax relief for clients and we anticipate that will increase significantly next year.”

Research and Development for tax purposes takes place when a project seeks to achieve an advance in science or technology.

The tax relief applies to both profit-making companies paying corporation tax and also loss-making companies who are not.

R&D tax relief can be received as lowered corporation tax or in some cases as a payable cash credit.

Mark Telford, managing director of Forth Engineering in Flimby, near Maryport, commissioned Hornby’s to deal with his Research and Development Tax Credits.

He said: “Paul took over our Research and Development Tax Credits claim and has designed a system to help record our data.

“The results have been phenomenal.

“His input has definitely had a significant influence on the growth of our business.”