R&D tax relief supports companies that work on innovative projects in science and technology. It can be claimed by a range of companies that undertake research or develop an advance in their field. It can even be claimed on unsuccessful projects.
You may be able to claim Corporation Tax relief if your project meets HMRC’s definition of R&D.
Projects that count as R&D
The work that qualifies for R&D relief must be part of a specific project to make an advance in science or technology.
The project must relate to your company’s trade – either an existing one, or one that you intend to start up based on the results of the R&D.
To get R&D relief, you need to explain how a project:
sought an advance in science and technology
had to overcome uncertainty
tried to overcome this uncertainty
couldn’t be easily worked out by a professional in the field
Your project may research or develop a new process, product or service or improve on an existing one.
1. Show that you looked for an advance in the field
Your project must aim to create an advance in the overall field, not just for your business. This means an advance can’t just be an existing technology that has been used for the first time in your sector.
The process, product or service can still be an advance if it’s been developed by another company, but isn’t publicly known or available.
2. Show there was uncertainty
You should be researching or developing something that isn’t known to be scientifically or technology feasible when you make or discover it.
This means that your company or experts in the field can’t already know about the advance or the way you achieved it.
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