Belfast Telegraph

Aerospace and supply industries may be missing tax breaks

clare weir cweir@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

A SCOTTISH tax credit specialist is encouraging firms in the aerospace, defence and security supply chains here to explore tax breaks for new ideas.

The three sectors, particularly aerospace, are a key component of the Northern Ireland economy, with more than 50 companies – including B/E Aerospace, Bombardier Aerospace, DuPont, Martin Baker, Survitec Group and Thales – having bases here.

Areas of expertise in Northern Ireland include fuselages, wings, advanced composite materials such as Kevlar, safety systems, seating, aircraft interiors, stress and fatigue analysis, and missiles.

Now Jumpstart, a research and development tax credit specialist in Edinburgh, has expressed concerns that some companies which may be eligible for significant financial aid may be missing out because of uncertainty about tax credit claims procedures.

Martin Malseed, Jumpstart business analyst in Northern Ireland, said that the aerospace and related industries need to make the most of the ideas and opportunities.

"Many of these enterprises are involved in world-beating technical innovation, but many are also run by teams of directors who are very hands on, and closely involved in day-to-day operational procedures," Mr Malseed said.

"Because they are so committed to immediate operational concerns, they may not realise that they are creating new methods of production and experimentation and working in areas of uncertainty and technological advance – and, consequently, they may not be aware that projects they undertake qualify for generous tax concessions."

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