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Research and Development tax relief - HMRC

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In 2000, the government introduced a scheme to encourage scientific and technological innovation within the United Kingdom.

Relief that may reduce a company tax bill

Research and Development (R&D) is a Corporation Tax (CT) relief that may reduce a company’s tax bill if the company is liable for CT or a payable tax credit may be received.

How you claim tax relief depends on the size of your company, for example, you may fall within the remit of the Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) scheme, as defined in HMRC guidance, Corporation Tax: Research and Development tax relief for small or medium sized enterprises

the word relief spelt with wooden blocks


However, your company can only claim R&D tax relief if an R&D project seeks to achieve an advance in overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty. HMRC’s guidance, Corporation Tax: Research and Development tax relief, contains our definition of a scientific or technological advance and scientific or technological uncertainties.

The project must also 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. You can find more information about this in HMRC’s Corporate Intangibles Research and Development Manual - CIRD81400

dictionary showing definifition of definition

R&D tax relief guidance

The HMRC Research and development tax relief: Making R&D easier for small companies, guidance includes:

  • case studies
  • straightforward definitions and explanations of the scheme
  • details of qualifying costs
  • guidance on how to make a claim under the Small Medium Enterprises and R&D Expenditure Credit schemes
  • advice on where to find help and further information.

Videos on R&D tax relief

For a quick overview why not look at one of the HMRC R&D YouTube videos:

What is Research and Development tax relief?

What expenses qualify for Research and Development tax relief?

How to claim Research and Development tax relief for grant funded work

You can follow HMRC on Twitter

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