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Many companies believe that they do not carry out Research and Development and even if they do they are not always aware of what they may be able to claim. If in doubt it is clearly beneficial to talk through the options with a taxation specialist.

Tax relief for Research and Development dates back many years in the UK and similar structures are in place around the world. Many companies have previously missed out on claiming what is a generous form of tax relief.

The UK Government actively encourages investment in Innovation and Research and Development given it sees it as a central component of business growth and therefore encourages R&D claims for tax relief.

Some organisations are put off from looking at this given they assume that it is only available to hi-tech or science based industries, this is not the case.

Claims can be made for innovation in new products and in some instances for substantial modifications in processes or products effectively opening up claims to many different business sectors.


The Criteria for Research and Development Tax Relief

The type of expenditure incurred on activities relating to R&D need to be considered and these fall into different categories such as; employment costs, work done by externally provided workers, software, costs of materials and any clinical trials.

To get R&D relief you need to explain how a project:

  • looked for an advance in science and technology
  • had to overcome uncertainty
  • tried to overcome this uncertainty
  • could not be easily worked out by a professional in the field

Determining which projects might qualify for R&D relief and what activities can be taken into account does require some professional advice, something Rayner Essex is able to provide.


Making a Claim

Organisations are able to claim tax relief in the period when the expenditure was incurred. Inevitably there are relevant criteria that have to be established and this normally requires professional guidance from taxation specialists to help ensure the application is both relevant and ultimately successful. There is an Advanced Clearance Service offered by HMRC than can prove to be useful.

There are different types of R&D relief depending upon the size of the organisation.

If a business has less than 500 staff or a turnover less than 100 million Euros or a balance sheet under 86 million Euros a claim can be made through ‘SME (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) R&D Relief’. Larger companies can claim a ‘Research and Development Expenditure Credit’ (RDEC). In both instances substantial tax relief is available for qualifying projects.

It is important to note that R&D relief is only available to companies and not individuals or partnerships, irrespective of their size.


How We Help Clients

We have a highly regarded tax team that specialises in making R&D claims on behalf of our clients across the UK.

Initially we will consider your business activities and any areas that you feel might qualify for relief and we will then help determine whether or not your claim will meet the qualifying criteria.

Thereafter we will assist you with making the claim.

For our international clients we are able to provide support through our membership of Inpact International, a global alliance of accountancy firms.


Contact Us

To receive further advice on making an R&D, contact Mark Moore in London on +44 (0)20 7388 2641 or in St Albans on +44 (0)1727 833222 to see how we can help you.