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Our tax team are a group of personable, plain-speaking professionals who translate intricate tax legislation into easy to understand language.

Not only that, Haines Watts combine R&D tax expertise alongside our extensive experience of owner managed businesses to maximise R&D claims. 

We know more about how other business and tax matters interrelate with R&D tax credits claims.  For example, the business structure and remuneration of key directors can have a significant impact on the level of qualifying expenditure so you need an advisor who can look at the wider picture.

Specialist R&D tax consultancies may not have this experience and only go so far in terms of understanding your business needs and building long-term relationships.

What are R&D tax credits?

Research & Development (R&D) tax relief is an incentive available to UK limited companies which encourages investment in innovation. R&D tax credits can reduce a company’s tax liability or, if a company is not in profit, provide a payable cash refund.

For tax purposes, the definition of R&D is purposefully broad. The relief is ultimately geared towards problem solving businesses – those which can demonstrate they’re making ‘appreciable improvements’ or overcoming technological/scientific uncertainties.

If you’re improving processes, bringing new products and services to market, increasing efficiencies or solving problems for customers, there’s a strong chance you could be eligible for the relief.

As it stands, the R&D tax credits are one of the biggest forms of tax relief available to SMEs, providing a 130% uplift on qualifying costs.

Claiming R&D tax credits

Claiming R&D tax credits

R&D tax relief can provide an important source of funding through cash reimbursement or tax deduction for companies developing products, processes and services. It’s one of the biggest tax reliefs available to SMEs and can be worth up to 33.35% of a company’s R&D expenditure.

The good news is that R&D claims can be made retrospectively.  You can file a retrospective claim for any R&D activity carried out in the last 2 years.

Who and what is eligible to claim R&D tax relief?

Who and what is eligible to claim R&D tax relief?

You may be surprised to find out the wide range of R&D qualifying expenditure that is eligible for R&D tax credits. Even failed attempts to improve products or processes can still count as R&D qualifying expenditure.

What do I do next?

What do I do next?

Want to know whether your work qualifies for R&D tax relief?  A quick chat to us will clarify matters. There is no fee for this initial advice and there is no obligation to pursue a claim with us.

We offer a success-based fee so you pay us according to the level of return we achieve for you. Claims can go back two tax years so the quicker you act, the more benefit you can achieve.

Are your activities eligible for R&D tax relief?

In many cases we’ve worked on, a business owner doesn’t believe that the R&D qualifying expenditure is eligible for R&D tax relief.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. Think back over the past 2 years and ask yourself, have I…
  • Looked for a more efficient or more effective solution.

  • Made improvements to an existing product or created a new product.

  • Investigated new methods or processes.

  • Trialled new computer code or materials.

  • Solved problems or overcame issues for customers.

If the answer is yes, chances are you’re probably eligible for R&D tax relief.

It’s impossible for us to list all R&D qualifying expenditure activities that may be eligible for R&D tax relief, but to give you a flavour of the wide range of activities we’ve got some examples:

R&D tax relief examples

  • Bespoking software, overhauling IT or developing websites or CRM systems.

  • Scientific or technological planning, design, testing, and analysis.

  • Adaption of new or existing premises.

  • Information services e.g. preparation of R&D reports.

  • Pure & applied research.

  • Pursuit of quality management standards.

  • Ancillary services e.g. salary & recruitment cost, leasing laboratories and equipment.

  • Salary and recruitment costs of personnel involved in qualifying activity.

  • Failed attempts to improve products or processes.

  • Adaption of a product to enter new markets, particularly overseas.

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