Research & Development Tax Relief

Research & Development Tax Relief

Research and Development Credits are a Government incentive scheme designed to encourage innovation by rewarding UK companies with reductions in their Corporation Tax Bill if they carry out innovative activities. The UK has one of the most generous schemes with an estimated £6 billion per annum available to be reclaimed by SMEs.

The scheme effectively allows you to claim back the associated costs with any project you have undertaken that qualifies as Research or Development whether this be through reducing your corporation tax bill or by giving you a tax credit back.

We can help you to look over your projects or services and analyse what does and doesn’t qualify under the guidelines. We will also look back at your previous years to make sure all your activities are covered. Once we have identified what project does qualify we will administer an in depth cost analysis to find every penny you can claim for.

Our Service
Free Evaluations
We offer Free, No Obligation Evaluations to determine whether your projects qualify for R&D.
Easy & Accurate Service
We have designed our service to be completely flexible, whilst retaining the accuracy required to prove your facts and figures. We can handle every part of the claim process, allowing you to spend the time doing what you do best.
100% Success Rate
To date every single claim we have made for our clients has successfully led to a full tax refund.
We saved our clients over £1,000,000 last year by evaluating and managing their R&D Tax Credit Claims.
How we work

Research & Development Tax Relief Service

Information Gathering

Our team will work closely with you to gather all the information needed to prepare your claim, helping you identify all potential costs that could be included. 

They will also explain in Jargon Free English what technical information they will require in order to write the supporting narrative that proves your project meets the R&D criteria. 

Research & Technical Report 

An R&D claim for a UK Company requires a detailed Financial and Technical report that explains how and why the project qualifies for R&D as well documenting the exact costs being put into the claim.

Our team will take all of the information and prepare the report, consulting you throughout and once complete will submit it to you as a draft to review.

Filing & Support

Once the final version of the report is agreed, it will be sent for submission along with the amendment in your Corporation Tax Return.

After submitting the claim HMRC has up to 1 year to come back to you with an enquiry about any Corporation Tax matter. We will stand by you throughout this time, offering support and proactively dealing with HMRC for you, should an enquiry arise.

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Does my innovation qualify for the scheme?

The criteria for whether a project qualifies for the scheme is all down to whether it is considered a "Research & Development" activity. This is not a straight forward criteria and has little clarification from the HMRC. This often means that the judgement from the individual tax offices and investigators can vary from area to area. This means it's evermore important to provide a detailed supporting technical document with each claim.

Is my project considered "Research & Development"?

For this tax, the qualification of "Research and Development" should not be considered necessarily in it's everyday meaning as here it is really the embodiment of criteria, case studies and grey areas. To start off the process of qualification you need consider whether your company has undergone any innovative activities:

  • Has your company enhanced any existing products?
  • Has your company created any new products?
  • Has your company undertaken any work to improve processes?
  • Has your company made improvements in services in order to reduce costs, win more business or improve service levels?

If your company has undertaken any of the above you could qualify for R&D Tax Credits.

How it can help your business

If you have spent money on qualifying innovative activities in the past two years you can reduce your company’s corporation tax bill by an extra 130% of the amount you spent on the innovation .

Under these rules at the most simple level for every £1 on R&D activities spent you will receive 26p in tax relief. A loss making business also has the opportunity to claim a tax credit back from the government of up to 33.35% of the money spent on R&D activities.

Profit Making Business

A profit making business will be able to claim the 130% enhancement which will save them an extra 26p in tax for every £1 spent.

Profit Making Business Example:
Your company makes a profit of £30,000 but spent £20,000 in R&D costs.
£20,000 x 130% = £26,000 to be taken off of your profit.
Profit £30,000 -  R&D £26,000 = £4,000 profit to be taxed normally.

In this example the R&D 130% enhancement has reduced your profits from £30,000 to £4,000. This means that your corporation tax bill has reduced from £6,000 to £800 which is a tax saving of £5,200!

Loss Making Business

When a company makes a loss relating to R&D they can choose to either carry forward or carry back that loss as is normally the case with losses but they also have the opprtunity to claim a cash credit of up to 33.35p per £1 spent on R&D activities.

Carrying Forward/Back Example:
Your company makes a loss of £20,000 and you incurred £20,000 in R&D costs.

£20,000 x 130% = £26,000 to be added to your losses.
Loss £20,000 + R&D £26,000 = £46,000 loss .
£46,000 x 20% = £9,200 in tax saving losses to be carried forward or carried back.

In the example you had £46,000 in losses. If you carried this forward you would save £9,200 in future tax or if you carried back you could recoup £9,200 in previously paid tax. 

This means that in a loss making business for every £1 in R&D costs you have, you will save up to £0.46 in corporation tax.

Tax Credit Example:
Your company makes a loss of £20,000 and you incurred £20,000 in R&D costs.

£20,000 x 130% = £26,000 to be taken off of your profit.
Loss £20,000 + R&D £26,000 = £46,000 loss .
£46,000 x 14.5% = £6,670 tax credit back you.

In the example you had £46,000 in losses. By claiming the tax credit you receive £6,670 in cash today. 

This means for every £1 in R&D costs that you have, you will receive up to £0.33 back from the government.

What costs can you claim relief on?

There are various costs that can be claimed for, some of which you may not think of. Below are a list of the various costs that relief can be claimed on:

  • Staff costs (Salary, Employer’s NI & Pension contributions)
  • Any materials consumed during the R &D process (you can also include a proportion of your Light & Heat costs and your water rates)
  • Subcontractor costs (65% is allowed if they are an unconnected person)
  • Agency provided workers (65% is allowed if the agency is not a connected entity)
  • Cost of the software used for the R&D process

Other expenditure such as travel & subsistence, car hire & motor costs, telephone etc would not be allowable for R&D tax relief purposes

Frequently Asked Questions

Research & Development Tax Relief FAQS

Does my business qualify for the SME scheme?

SMEs can benefit from an enhanced rate of R&D tax credits compared to larger businesses. For a company to be regarded as an SME and qualify for this scheme it must meet the following criteria:

- Must be a UK Limited Company
- Must employ fewer than 500 people
- Have either an annual turnover of no more than £100 million or a balance sheet total not exceeding £86 million.

How far back can you claim?

There is a 2 year time limit to how far back you can make a claim on incurred R&D expenditure. The date that the costs were paid must have occurred within 2 years starting from your current company year end date.

For Example -  If your company tax year end date is the 30th June 2016, you can claim any qualifying R&D costs incurred going back to the 30th June 2014.

Does it matter if the project failed?

Companies are able to make a claim for their R&D projects whether they were successful or not. The R&D Tax Relief does not discriminate between the two as it aims to encourage businesses to innovate. The scheme therefore helps businesses to mitigate some of the financial risk involved in research and development.

What happens if the project spanned over 2 years?

If your Research and Development projects spans multiple years we will help you to make a separate claim for each year including the respective qualifying expenditure. The total tax saving will be the same result as if the project fell into one tax year.

Get a Free R&D Tax Evaluation

If you are interested in finding out more about an R&D Tax Credit claim then please don't hesitate to get in touch. We offer Free Evaluations to determine if your innovations qualify for the tax credit scheme and how much it could be worth to your business. This gives you the information you need to make a decision on going forward with a claim.

Remember there is a 2 year time limit, so get in touch today for your Free Evaluation by calling us on 0208 858 4303, sending an email to or click the link below to fill out our online form.
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Finsbury Robinson
237 Westcombe Hill