Companies making profit are liable to Corporation Tax - a tax set to fall significantly in coming years as part of post-Brexit plans - the current rate is set at 20 percent. Profits however can be offset using tax reliefs to reduce the amount of Corporation Tax that has to be paid. One such relief is the R&D tax relief.
If a company is attempting to innovate, create a new overall understanding within a particular field via a research and development project, the costs of the project can be offset from other company profits. To claim the relief the company can do so either at the time of the making a Corporation Tax return to reduce the bill, or can use the relief to receive payable tax credits.
The criminals raided from the West Midlands would be attempting to claim £300 million over a period of five years in their plan. The claims would be the tax credits method of getting R&D relief.
At the moment not much has been disclosed, aside from the type of crime and location, but computers and business records were taken away by HMRC officers from four locations (three residential and one business).