Northern Ireland Corporate Tax Office (NIrCTO)

NIrCTO is part of HMRC, helping to promote corporate inward investment and local business expansion in Northern Ireland.

What is NIrCTO

Established in July 2007 to help promote corporate inward investment and local business expansion in Northern Ireland, NIrCTO works closely with:

  • companies and their financial advisers
  • local government
  • regional economic development bodies

NIrCTO has produced a leaflet to summarise their role and how they can help you.

Investing in Northern Ireland

What NIrCTO can do for you

NIrCTO can advise you, and your professional advisers, on the full range of HMRC business taxes and duties affecting your proposed investment by:

  • giving you early certainty on the tax consequences of commercial transactions that affect your proposed investment or expansion plans in Northern Ireland
  • facilitating direct access to HMRC’s tax specialists
  • helping to secure clearances and advance agreements in respect of your plans
  • providing a local point of contact for advice and, in conjunction with the specialist Research & Development (R&D) units, help with claiming R&D Tax Relief, Patent Box, Creative Industry Tax Reliefs and other HMRC tax incentives
  • fast tracking the service they provide where time is important

David Stewart OBE, Head of NIrCTO

Image of David Stewart, Head of NlrCTO

As Head of NIrCTO, David works closely with the Department for the Economy, Invest NI, local professional bodies and companies, to encourage local businesses involved in R&D to apply for R&D Tax Relief.

NIrCTO was created to help promote inward investment and local business expansion and increase the level of awareness of R&D Tax Relief in Northern Ireland.

David was born and educated in Belfast and has worked for HMRC since 1985. During this time he has gained substantial experience in working with local business, local government and large multinational corporates. David is HMRC’s Northern Ireland R&D Tax Relief specialist and in 2017 was awarded an OBE for his services to inward investment to Northern Ireland.

David was also responsible for the introduction of the HMRC booklet ‘Your Research, Our Support’ which is an informative guide to help Northern Ireland companies and their professional advisers in claiming R&D Tax Relief.

Investing for the first time or expanding your company

If your company is investing In Northern Ireland for the first time or thinking of expanding your Northern Ireland based company, NIrCTO:

  • will work with you and your professional advisers in helping to identify the tax implications of your proposals - they can cover the full range of business taxes and duties dealt with by HMRC
  • can facilitate access to our network of technical tax specialists to provide clarity and early certainty on the tax consequences of the commercial transactions affecting your investment - where appropriate, this may include clearances and advance agreements which will be binding on HMRC

R&D Relief

NIrCTO is your local point of contact in Northern Ireland for R&D Relief claims.

They can help you and your professional adviser:

  • decide if your company qualifies for R&D Relief
  • design simple processes to help make acceptable claims
  • understand what records you need to keep
  • facilitate access to HMRC’s specialist R&D units for specific help with your claim

Working in partnership with local government and Invest NI, NIrCTO has produced a booklet to increase awareness of and help Northern Ireland companies claim R&D Relief.

This booklet does not replace HMRC guidance but acts as an informative summary of the main provisions of the scheme. It also gives guidance on where to find help and more detailed information.

Your research Our support: Research & Development Tax Relief in Northern Ireland

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You can give NIrCTO feedback on what you think about this booklet and let them know if you’d like to suggest any improvements, by emailing:

Contact NIrCTO

You can contact NIrCTO by phone, fax or in writing.

Alternatively you can email:

Contact HMRC’s Income Tax helpline if you’re calling about your personal tax affairs.

Published 28 November 2011
Last updated 19 January 2022 + show all updates
  1. The email address to contact NIrCTO and to give feedback on Research & Development have been updated.

  2. The email addresses to contact NIrCTO and to give feedback on 'Your research Our support: Research & Development Tax Relief in Northern Ireland' have been updated.

  3. The Research & Development Tax Relief in Northern Ireland PDF has been updated and minor amendments made to the page.

  4. Both pdfs updated and minor amendments made to the page.

  5. First published.