R & D tax relief

Tax reliefs

UK companies are able to claim tax relief for their R & D (research and development) activity.


The aim is to boost innovation by providing tax relief on qualifying expenditure.

A profitable company can expect approx 25% of their R & D costs refunded, whilst a loss making company may be able to claim back 33%.

Quality assurance

Our in-house tax expert is supported by specialists around the country in our UK200 network.

What we can do?

We can discuss whether you may be eligible, calculate the claim and complete the declaration to HMRC.

How much is it?

That will often depend on the complexity of the case, but we’ll be happy to give you a quote once we understand your circumstances.


What sort of activity will qualify?Any company in any industry may qualify, but the company must undertake development activities that seek to achieve an advancement in technology. Activities that include designing and making new products, developing software or IT solutions and even changing an existing product or services may qualify. A good test to determine if the work undertaken qualifies as R & D is whether your project team faced an uncertain outcome at the start of the project.

And what sort of costs qualify? Your company can claim staff costs, agency workers/freelancers, (although relief may be restricted), software costs and consumables. (Capital expenditure does not qualify).

Do I need to get approval first from HMRC? Whilst not necessary, your company can apply for advance assurance from HMRC, which guarantees any R & D are accepted: provided they are in line with discussions and are claimed within the first 3 accounting periods.

How do I make a claim? Claims are made through your company’s corporation tax return.

Will I get a cash refund? Your company will either receive a reduction in corporation tax payable or a cash repayment.

How far back can I make claim? Your company can generally go back 2 accounting years.

How long does it take to get my refund? Whilst HMRC try to process applications for R & D tax credit within 28 days, it often depends on the nature of the claim and the complexity of the company.

Will my accountant be able to help me or do I need a specialist? Well, that depends on how complex it is; and we ourselves often refer the more complex cases to a specialist: our priority is to get it right for you.

Key points

  • You need to know what expenditure qualifies for tax relief
  • You culd reduce your tax bill or get a cash refund

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