How Do You Claim R&D Tax Credit? A Comprehensive Guide

A Comprehensive Guide to Learn How Do You Claim R&D Tax Credit?

When it comes to fostering innovation and driving technology and advancements, Research and Development (R&D) plays a pivotal role. Governments worldwide recognise the importance of encouraging (R&D) activities and offer Tax incentives to businesses engaged in such endeavours. Claiming R&D tax credits can significantly benefit companies, providing financial support to offset R&D costs and enhance their competitive edge.  

In this Blog, we will walk you through the process of claiming R&D tax credit, step-by-step, ensuring that you have a solid understanding of the procedures involved. Whether you are a startup or an established enterprise, this blog aims to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to help you successfully claim R&D tax credit. 


How do I Claim R&D Tax Credit?  

To claim the Research and Development Tax Credit, companies must use the Revenue Online Service (ROS) and ensure they meet all the necessary requirements. Detailed guidance on qualifying activities and eligible expenditures can be found in the Research and Development Tax Credit manual, along with instructions for calculating and submitting the credit claim. It is important to note that claims must be made within 12 months from the end of the accounting period in which the expenses were incurred.   


Eligibility Criteria 


1.  Qualifying for R&D Tax Credit 

To claim R&D Tax Credit, businesses must meet specific eligibility criteria. The key requirement is engagement in activities that seek to advance science or technology through research and experimentation. Companies need to demonstrate that their projects involve a systematic approach to resolving technological uncertainties.  


2. Expenditures Covered 

The scope includes a variety of expenditures related to qualifying R&D activities. These may encompass employee wages directly involved in R&D, expenses incurred on subcontractors, consumables used in research, software expenses, and certain overheads that can be attributed to R&D projects. 


3. Identifying Eligible R&D Activities 

 The activities must meet specific criteria, such as attempting to achieve a scientific or technological advancement that isn’t easily deducible by a competent professional in the field. Ensuring proper documentation and tracking of R&D projects is vital to support your claim. Any company involved in endeavours aimed at enhancing or creating products, processes, software, formulas, techniques, or inventions, which necessitate technical experimentation to ascertain the most precise and suitable design, may be eligible to claim the R&D tax credit. There are no exclusions based on industry or business type; however, certain companies may have a stronger claim due to the nature of their activities. 


Preparing for the Claim 


1. Gather Necessary Documentation 

 Gather all relevant documentation, including detailed project descriptions, financial records, time sheets, and technical information. These documents will substantiate the nature and scale of your R&D efforts during the claim evaluation process. 


2. Working with R&D Tax Credit Specialists 

Collaborating with R&D Tax Credit specialists is highly recommended, as they possess the expertise to optimize your claim and ensure compliance with HMRC guidelines. Their knowledge can significantly improve your chances of a successful claim. 


Making the Claim 


1. Filling out the Application 

The process of claiming R&D Tax Credit involves filling out an application alongside your annual tax return. HMRC provides specific forms designed to capture essential information about your R&D projects and expenditures. Accuracy and completeness in filling out these forms are critical to avoid delays or potential inquiries. 


2. The Importance of Accuracy 

When submitting your claim, ensure that all information provided is accurate and aligns with the guidelines set forth by HMRC. Inaccuracies or inconsistencies may lead to inquiries or adjustments during the evaluation process. 


Understanding the Review Process 


1. HMRC’s Evaluation of Claims 

HMRC evaluates R&D Tax Credit claims thoroughly to ensure compliance with the established criteria. Expect a comprehensive review of your R&D projects, expenditures, and supporting documentation. Be prepared to answer any additional inquiries or provide further evidence, if necessary. 


2. Addressing Inquiries or Audits 

During the review process, HMRC may raise inquiries or conduct audits to gain a deeper understanding of your claim. Promptly respond to these inquiries, providing the required information to substantiate your eligibility for R&D Tax Credits. 


Maximizing R&D Tax Credit Benefits 


1. R&D Tax Credit as an Ongoing Strategy 

Integrate R&D Tax Credit into your long-term financial planning. Consider R&D Tax Credit as an ongoing incentive to support your company’s continued innovation and advancement. Utilizing this credit strategically can lead to sustained growth and competitiveness. 


2. Professional Advice for Future Claims 

Seeking professional advice from R&D Tax Credit specialists can be highly beneficial for optimizing future claims. Their expertise can help identify eligible projects and expenditures, ensuring you maximize the potential benefits of R&D Tax Credit. 



In conclusion, the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit offers significant benefits for businesses. By reducing the tax burden, it provides financial relief, allowing companies to allocate more resources to their innovative projects. This incentive encourages a culture of innovation, driving businesses to explore modern technologies and stay competitive in their industries. Moreover, claiming the R&D Tax Credit can lead to a positive reputation as an innovative company, attracting potential investors and customers. This credit serves as a valuable tool for fostering growth, advancing technology, and securing a prosperous future for businesses engaged in research and development activities. 


Need More Help?  

Just fill in your details here if you need assistance with R&D Tax Credit or wish to discuss any other tax-related matters.  

Lanop Accountants and Tax Advisors is a trusted provider of a wide range of financial services. In addition, we offer comprehensive solutions such as VAT returns, payroll management, support for startups, auto-enrolment and pension services, family businesses, contractor accounting, tax planning, assistance with HMRC tax investigations etc. 

Our team of experienced Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisors provides comprehensive financial solutions for individuals and businesses seeking assistance. With our offices conveniently located in Putney, Harley Street, and Battersea, we serve clients not only in London but also globally.   



What expenses can be included in the R&D claim?

Eligible expenses may include employee costs directly involved in R&D activities, expenses incurred on subcontractors and external collaborators, consumables used during research, software expenses, and a proportion of certain overheads attributed to R&D projects. 


Is my company eligible for R&D Tax Credit?

Eligibility depends on whether your company is actively engaged in qualifying R&D activities. Companies of various sizes and sectors can be eligible, provided they meet the specific criteria established by HMRC. 


Can startups benefit from R&D Tax Credit?

Yes, startups can benefit from R&D Tax Credit, particularly if they are conducting innovative research and development activities. Startups are encouraged to explore this incentive to support their growth and technological advancements.


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Aurangzaib Chawla

At Lanop, I am providing my services as the Managing Partner and Tax Specialist. My expertise includes helping medium and small-scale businesses in their accountancy and legal requirements, business start-up support, strategic review, payroll system review and implementation, VAT and tax compliance to cloud accounting. I am also an expert in financial reporting, identifying and monitoring risks, strategic business development, client retention, market acquisition and deals closure by carefully planning my sales cycle. 

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