“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data” – this was the quote which appeared in an article published by the Economist in May 2017. At first glance, it might appear to represent another anecdote, oversimplifying the opportunities made available through the introduction of Big Data.
Upon further inspection, however, this revealed a more important consideration: the responsibility of owning and managing vast quantities of personal information. This led to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has now been in place since 25th May 2018. GDPR has, nominally been perceived by businesses within the UK as nothing more than a cost to their business. What if, however, this was not only a cost to businesses but also an opportunity?
Implications of GDPR
The idea that GDPR is actually an opportunity for both large companies and SMEs alike can at first be surprising. Businesses need to understand what personal information they hold, how to suitably delete it and ultimately stay compliant; considered on its own – this is a challenging (expensive) prospect. Why? For the simple reason that erasing data from the internet is not as simple as it sounds.
According to a report published by McKinsey, in a survey of 60 major European companies, 45% admitted that they would need to make significant investments in basic tools to comply with GDPR requirements. Many SMEs across the UK are not so lucky – the majority simply do not have access to the funds required to invest in new tools and thus have to rely on in-house or subcontracted developers to stay compliant which ultimately creates an environment where the remaining data-sets are monitored by appropriate levels of cyber-security.
Softening the blow
One of the less obvious and yet most effective ways to offset these costs is through the R&D Tax Credit scheme – a scheme so underused, that HMRC owe’s Britain’s small businesses a staggering £84bn in backdated Research & Development tax relief.
HMRC rewards companies for overcoming technical challenges, such as the process of becoming GDPR compliant. Simply put, the more costs they incur, the greater the benefit. When considered from this perspective and looked at with the help of a specialist, GDPR becomes an opportunity to optimise your existing R&D claim or submit a fresh one.
Leyton currently process one in every ten R&D Tax Credit claims in the UK and have been claiming on GDPR compliance for nearly 12 months. If you have had to change the way you operate as a result of GDPR, do not hesitate to visit our website and contact us. It’s your job to be compliant; it’s our job to soften the blow.
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